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Waynesboro Stallions celebrate new home

'We wanted a place for 200-plus kids to play and call home. And we found it'

August 18, 2013|By BILL KOHLER | billk@herald-mail.com
  • Bonnie Hoffman of Waynesboro, Pa., cuts a ceremonial ribbon Saturday under the new scoreboard at the Waynesboro Stallions field off Welty Road in Waynesboro. Pictured from left are Lindsey Hartman, 5; Stallions board Vice President Shelly Horner; Stallions co-founder Gary Peck Sr.; Hoffman, wife of late co-founder Tom Hoffman; co-founder Bill Yingling; Stallions board President Greg Wade and Stallions player Brady Riddell, 13.
Photo by Bill Kohler, Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — It’s almost time for kickoff.

The Waynesboro Stallions youth football organization officially dedicated its new field Saturday in an event that attracted hundreds of people, including former players and coaches, to the new complex off Welty Road.

The new field will usher in a new era with its first games next Saturday when the Stallions host Greencastle, Pa.

“This was our vision all along,” said Stallions President Greg Wade as he looked over the crowds of families playing games, throwing the football and socializing.

The field, which is part of the Otterbein Church Recreation Park, features a field, bleachers, a scoreboard that was blaring the numbers “20:13” on Saturday and a spacious building that includes a concession stand, press box and storage area.

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“We wanted a place for 200-plus kids to play and call home. And we found it,” Wade said.

The Stallions were a bit nomadic since 2007, when a construction project at Waynesboro Area Senior High School forced them to relinquish use of Indian Stadium there. League officials attempted to move the games to Pine Hill Recreational Area in Washington Township, Pa., but met opposition from neighbors.

The Stallions then moved to Quincy, Pa., sharing the Quincy Ox Roast fields with the Quincy Panthers group.

Wade has spoken highly of the generosity of the Quincy Ox Roast Association, saying it was bittersweet to leave there, but adding  that the goal always was to find a field in Waynesboro.

The nonprofit Stallions caters to about 125 players and 100 cheerleaders ages 5 to 14. Many of those youngsters were on hand Saturday under nearly idyllic conditions.

“It’s a beautiful day all around,” Wade said with a smile.

He said volunteers — led by Stallions co-founder Gary Peck Sr. — have been working around the clock to get the field and building ready for Saturday. The field was lined, the scoreboard was up and operational, and the goal posts were sporting a fresh coat of paint. The bottoms of the posts were wrapped with padded covers with the words “Waynesboro Stallions” emblazoned on them.

“We broke ground on this field four months ago, and we’ve worked day and night to get it ready for today,” Wade said. “It’s been thousands of hours. We’ve received help from a lot of people. It’s been a community effort ... very much so.”

The group was founded in 1977 by Peck, Bill Yingling and Tom Hoffman, now deceased, and started playing as the Pen Mar Stallions in 1978. The team played home games at Victor Cullen in Sabillasville, Md., from 1978-83. The team moved its home games to Indian Stadium and was renamed the Waynesboro Stallions.

Hoffman’s widow, Bonnie Hoffman, cut the ribbon Saturday while standing next to Peck and Yingling.

Wade said previously that the group will still need to raise $30,000 to $40,000 to pay for the project.

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