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Trojan Stadium makeover receives rave reviews

September 10, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

After much anticipation, the new Trojan Stadium finally opened its gates to varsity football Friday night when Chambersburg hosted Mid-Penn powerhouse State College.

Chambersburg's revamped facility cost about $6.5 million and is comparable to some college stadiums. Head coach Dave Carruthers said the atmosphere itself should be enough to motivate the Trojans.

"I told the kids I didn't need to give them a pep talk because if I need to give you a pep talk to come out here and play, we're in trouble," Carruthers said. "Just being out here and seeing this whole thing gets you pumped up."

As pumped as the Trojans were, it wasn't enough to balance against the talent of State College, which was as broad as it was deep. Chambersburg allowed four first-quarter touchdowns and was blanked by the Little Lions, 42-0.

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But it was still a memorable night for the Trojans and the nearly 6,000 fans that showed up to see the unveiling of the new complex. Longtime announcer Walt Oliver and timekeeper Ray Kaufman were welcomed back to see the football team christen the new field.

Chambersburg quarterback Cheston Smith said he was hoping for a better performance from the Trojans on their new turf, but looks forward to future success.

"Coming out into a stadium like this makes everybody want to play hard," said Smith, who threw for 32 yards and scrambled for more on the soft artificial surface. "The crowd was great, the field was great I thought it was fantastic."

Brook Hart, the State College quarterback, had much more to be happy about in the game, but was equally as impressed with the upgrades made at Trojan Stadium.

"This is a really nice place," said Hart, who threw for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. "Last year when we came here, the field was a little torn up and they were getting ready to start construction. Now, it's a really nice field. The turf feels like grass, but it's better than grass."

Among the upgrades to the new stadium are the new field surface, expanded grandstand seating and a new press box - in addition to the old press box that was also refurbished - to allow the home and visiting teams their own area for coaches and media. Separate entrances on the east and west sides of the field give fans their own zone to cheer for their team.

"This is one of the nicest stadiums I've seen at the high school level," said State College coach Al Wolski. "They did it right. And they have the people to support the team."

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