KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the Lincoln Prep Tigers football team ran onto the field for their homecoming game Friday night, their cleats hit the brand-new blue turf for the first true home game in the school's history.
It was a moment more than a halfcentury in the making for Gerald Langford, class of 1969.
"When we played, it was not like that," Langford said laughing. "This was just a practice facility and all of the games were played at Southeast High School."
Lincoln College Preparatory Academy was founded in 1908 and moved to its current location in the 2100 block of Woodland Avenue in 1936.
During that time, when the football team would play a home game, the Tigers would have to board a bus and drive to another campus for the game.
The benches at the Lincoln Prep practice field were broken and the field was worn-out grass, prone to turning into a muddy mess, instead of turf.
"It was a pretty trashy field," Kalan Walker, class of 2007, said. "It wasn't the best."
The generosity of a Lincoln Prep alum, former University of Missouri and current Miami Dolphins defensive end Charles Harris, helped change that.
He donated $100,000 toward the renovation of the football stadium. An additional donation for the NFL also helped fund the estimated $3.5 million project.
Now, the school will look to build permanent concessions, restrooms and locker rooms for the new field by selling name plaques for the Charles Harris Lincoln Legacy Wall.
To donate, visit LincolnLegacyCampaign.com.