Memorial stadium in Great Falls will not be ready for the season home opener for the CMR and Helena High matchup. See press release below from the Great Falls athletics department
According to Great Falls Public Schools Athletic Director Gary DeGooyer, the field turf at Memorial Stadium will not be ready in time for Friday's matchup between CMR and Helena High. DeGooyer says the field was taking longer than expect. As a result, the two teams will play here on Pride Field on the campus of CMR, the first varsity football game ever played on this field.
"I kind of anticipated (the field change) was going to happen," Rustlers head coach Gary Lowry said. "we've been making alternate plans for a while so I figured (the change) would be that way and it is what it is."
Rustlers senior running back and defensive back Damien Nelson added "i'm pretty excited to be the first in CMR history to actually play on this field as a varsity (player)."
Nelson said he and the rest of the team are content opening their season on Jack Johnson Pride Field.
"with the stadium not working out it didn't matter where we played," Nelson said. "we just want to come out with the same mentality (that we would at Memorial Stadium) and play our game, not worry about where we're playing, who we're playing, and what time (the game is). "Wherever (the game) was, whether it was (on Pride Field) or at Paris, as long as we got to play I think that's what we cared about the most so I don't think there's a level of disappointment."
The move to Pride Field also affects the fans. Great Falls Public Schools announced seats will be on a first come, first served basis. That could prove to be tough as Helena High fans travel well.
"helena brings a good crowd and they support their team very well and we have a good crowd," Lowry said. "I think there will be a lot of people standing around on the sidelines, (the school officials) will haul bleachers where they can, and we're going to try to make the most of it. It's a big game for both teams and we're excited to get the 2017 season going and kids are excited to play no matter where we are."
Kickoff from Pride Field is scheduled for 4:30.