Valhalla to host home opener for Pepperell football team
The first home football game of the season for Pepperell High School on Sept. 1 has been relocated to Berry College’s field due to weather-related setbacks in the completion of construction at Dragon Stadium, according to a news release from Floyd County Schools.
The decision comes after the system on several occasions over the last month expressed optimism that the stadium would be ready to host the game after a summer of projects, mainly focused on solving the drainage issues on the field. The move to relocate the game comes after system officials met with the contractor and owner of Sports Turf Co. Inc. on Monday, according to the release.
“To accommodate the high school teams, modifications to Williams Field at Valhalla will include widening the goal posts and changing the hash marks on the fully synthetic turf field to be in compliance with Georgia High School Association regulations,” the release states.
During this month’s Floyd County Board of Education meeting Aug. 1, Facilities Manager David Van Hook told board members that the sod was going to be delivered Aug. 4, and by the end of that day, or by Aug. 7 at the latest, it would be put down. However, the sod wasn’t installed Aug. 4, but a good portion of it was laid over that weekend.
However, the track surrounding the field still needs a new latex coating and paint to be applied. This could only be done after a handful of spots on the track where new pipes were put in got new asphalt. It is unclear from the news release the status of this work.
The Dragons are set to face Pickens High on Berry’s campus on Sept. 1 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with $7 tickets that can be purchased outside the front entrance to the stadium.
Here is the full press release from Floyd County Schools:
Floyd County Schools’ (FCS) authorized personnel met with the contractor and owner of Sports Turf Company, Inc. (Sports Turf) to discuss the progress of the projects happening in Dragon Stadium on Monday. Though the field will be playable, delayed construction on the track and field due to weather-related setbacks prevent the stadium from being gameday ready on September 1. With the assistance of Sports Turf, Berry College’s Valhalla Stadium will serve as host to the first Pepperell High School (PHS) home football game of the season on September 1. This will be the first time that one of the FCS high schools plays a regular season game in a college football facility.
“This will give our PHS athletes a real experience to feel what it’s like to play in a topnotch college football facility and help them picture an attainable goal they can reach after Destination Graduation,” said Dr. Glenn White, FCS Director of Student Services. “Berry Athletics has done everything imaginable to make this a positive experience and we believe PHS students and fans will be happy to be there.”
Berry College’s Assistant Athletics Director, Facilities & Compliance, Derek Taylor said they are glad that PHS reached out about using the facility and welcome the opportunity to partner and build relationships with the community. To accommodate the high school teams, modifications to Williams Field at Valhalla will include widening the goal posts and changing the hash marks on the fully synthetic turf field to be in compliance with Georgia High School Association regulations.
“We thank our friends at Berry College, including the president, for their willingness and benevolence in hosting PHS and the Pepperell Community. We are looking forward to an experience only Berry College can offer,” said Jamey Alcorn, PHS Principal. “Having visited this first-class facility, it will be a great night of football for all the dragons.”
“Berry has been our home away from home,” said PHS Head Football Coach, Rick Hurst. “We used the facility for Midnight Madness and we had around a thousand people attend, so our boys are familiar with it and I think our fans will come out to support it like they did before. We will treat it like a road game, but be the home team.”
Coach Hurst also mentioned that Berry College has expressed interest in a few PHS football players. Having potential recruits play firsthand on what could be their future home turf is great for Berry Athletics and even better for the players who see this opportunity as a recruitment advantage.
The Dragons are set to face Pickens on Berry’s campus on Friday, September 1 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with $7 tickets that can be purchased outside the front entrance to the stadium.
Berry Athletics will operate a full concessions stand for the game that will be available to spectators. The college has also requested all spectators to review Valhalla Stadium’s code of conduct and sportsmanship policies here.
For campus information including directions to the stadium, click here.
For more information on Valhalla Stadium, click here.
FCS is dedicated to creating safe environments for all of our students to learn and play, and that is our number one priority.