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New youth football field a product of good teamwork

September 15, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Banks, government, developers and others are teaming up to build a new youth football field in Ranson, W.Va., that also could be used for other events like soccer or "mini concerts," a spokesman for the project said Thursday.

The football field, which will be built behind the Potomac Marketplace shopping center along the Charles Town Bypass, will be the new home for the Jefferson County Youth Football and Cheerleaders, those involved in the project said.

The football league has been squeezed for space to have its games and uses fields like one at Charles Town Middle School, officials said.

The league has been wanting a field of its own, said local developer Terry Marcus, who donated the land for the field along with his brother, Ronnie.

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The site is part of about 160 acres which the Marcus family purchased and has used for projects such as the 427-home Briar Run subdivision.

Marcus said the idea started when he was talking to some Ranson City Council members about it. Marcus said he then met with Jimmy Pierson of the Jefferson County Youth Football and Cheerleaders and it came to fruition.

Marcus said he and his brother were going to build a baseball field on the property to provide green space but were able to determine that there was enough space for a football field.

"It was there and we said, 'Why not?'" Marcus said of the land.

Marcus said he and his brother also are putting sod on the field and developing parking space. Pierson's group will install lights, bleachers and other equipment, Marcus said.

Pierson updated Jefferson County Commission members Thursday on the project and to obtain funding help.

Pierson said local institutions, including a bank, have agreed to help pay for the project.

"It's a community effort and when it's all said and done, we'll probably have $2 million invested in it," Pierson told the commission.

Pierson asked the commission for money for lights for the field after his group came up about $10,000 short for the lighting.

Commission members agreed to give $5,000 to Pierson's group.

"I just love things that are built by the community," said Commission member Rusty Morgan.

The field will belong to the City of Ranson and there will be rules mandating that lights have to be off by a certain time at night, Pierson said.

The lights will shine down on the field and there will be no light "pollution," Pierson said.

The field could also be used for soccer games or mini concerts, said Pierson.

Other groups that have become involved in the fundraising have included the Ranson Police Officer Association Fund, an organization that raises money for equipment for the police department and charity, said Sgt. Todd Lutman of the Ranson Police Department.

Lutman said his organization agreed to pay for two player benches and challenged the Charles Town Police Department to help with funding.

The field will not be used until next fall to allow time for the sod to get established, Marcus said.

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