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New athletic field may change the game for Central students and community

Posted: 5:26 PM, Sep 22, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-22 18:26:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Seniors Javion Shelby, Avory Verge and Larris Burnett are on the football team at Central Academy.

Friday they were getting ready for Saturday’s big homecoming game.

"I'm probably going to throw about five touchdowns, yeah five touchdowns,” Burnett said.

“It’ll be easy breezy,” Shelby said.

They're playing on their brand new athletic field.

“It's lovely,” Burnett said. “You get to walk through the crowd, have your own tunnel, have your fans cheering you on.”

It will be the first homecoming held at Central in years.

“It feels great you know, when I was a freshman, we had a dirt little field,” Verge said. “Mostly dirt instead of grass. My senior year I get to play on turf on my own home and it just feels amazing.”

It’s a field that’s changing the game, not just for the school, but also for the community.

“Students and community members alike are going to start coming back to what this city was based around,” Principal Anthony Madry said.

More than $1 million went into creating this field. It was a joint effort between the city and KCPS, but students were also involved. They signed a petition to help get this project off the ground.

Madry says the first thing it will bring is pride.

“Second thing is commitment to this community. People that live in this community, bringing those people back in,” Madry said. “But lastly for the school district, championships.”

Now with a regulation size football and soccer field, and high quality turf, Verge said he hopes future students will be just as excited.

“Treat this field as if it was their girlfriend,” Verge said. “You wouldn't be trashing your girlfriend, you wouldn't be treating it like it's garbage, leaving trash all over, you treat it with respect. This is your home away from home.“

There will be a pre-game tailgate at the field at noon on Saturday.

There will be games, food trucks and more at the event.

Kickoff for the homecoming game is at 1 p.m. There will be a ribbon cutting event during halftime.

Entrance to the game is $5 for adults, $3 for students and free for children ages 6 and younger.