A New Home: student athletes discuss thrills of playing in new stadium
Several elements of school look very different from years prior, and sports is no exception. A huge change this year is, for the first time in Andover Central’s history, there is a Jaguar stadium. Also, with limited seating at sporting events, the school put in cameras in order for fans to stream events from the safety of their own home. The cameras stream to a high school sports streaming service called NFHS.
Every home football or soccer game since our school opened has been held five minutes down the street at previously named Andover District Stadium, now named Trojan stadium, that was across the street from Andover High School. Jack Bell, senior receiver, is excited about having a place the Jags can call home.
“Playing in a new stadium is a whole different feeling. In the past, we had to share with Andover but now that we have our own stadium, it’s something we can call our home. As you can see we are making the best of it so far with two big wins in the first two games and it’s special to do it all in our own house,” Bell said.
It is unfortunate that not everyone can attend the first football games at the new stadium, but those who can’t come in person are able to watch the game through the streaming service. Several players on the football team were unable to attend the opening of Jaguar Stadium due to the positive COVID-19 test on the football team.
“I was in quarantine during the Eisenhower game, so I couldn’t play, but I was able to watch on the streaming service. It was still really cool that I could keep up with it live from home though,” Andrew Mann, junior offensive and defensive tackle, said.
Volleyball also has access to the streaming service through the cameras in the gymnasium. Family members of volleyball players have been using the service, since they can’t be there.
“My family has used the streaming service. My grandma has used it and she said that for the games she has been able to watch it has been great. I think the only bad thing about it is some schools don’t use the system and so she can’t watch our away games,” junior Carly Parker said.
The first football games at Jaguar Stadium were both wins, with a 45-31 win vs. Eisenhower and a 34-26 win vs. Goddard. The Family members of volleyball NFHS streaming service is available for purchase at NFHS-Network.com.
With the addition of Jaguar Stadium, the soccer team has found a new home. The stadium is shared across several sports. However, despite the COVID restrictions, the jungle is right behind the athletes to support them.
“It is great to have support when we play at home, especially in our rival games. Overall, our new stadium is all a high school athlete can ask for, it feels like home,” junior forward Leo Wurth said.
Not only did the jags get a new stadium, they also got 14 brand new tennis courts. The courts are located behind the stadium. In previous years, jaguar tennis only had 4 courts. With the addition of 10 more courts, the team is now able to host tournaments so more people can play at once.
“The new courts are fantastic! I am very pleased with how they turned out and the 14-court complex is a wonderful addition to Andover Public Schools. My favorite part about the new complex has to be the number of quality courts: with 14 great courts, we not only can spread out for optimal practices and training, but we have the ability to host large line-up matches in a shorter time period and large invitational tournaments,” middle school tennis coach Miss Stevens said.
Having our own stadium strengthens our rivalry with the Trojans and solidifies our sports teams. Being able to play in your own backyard is a different environment than having to travel across town for a “home” game.