Parents, athletes, coaches and school board members gathered at the Madras High soccer fields on Wednesday evening. With shovels in hand and some symbolic scoops of dirt, celebrations for a long waited groundbreaking were happening.
The soccer field will soon turn into an improved soccer complex thanks to a bond passed in 2021.
“Much needed with the amount of kids that we have and the amount of soccer players that there are,” said head Madras boys soccer coach Clark Jones. “Now, it’s it’s been a while coming, and it’s going to be nice to see it.”
A new 2,000-square-foot field house with concession space, restrooms, locker rooms and a coach’s office is in the works.
“Before we had had to, like, change outside and like, we’re just like dressed down and pull our trousers down and stuff,” said junior David Diaz. “Now it’s just better because they’re building us locker rooms.”
“Our equipment shed leaked, and we had to end up getting rid of a bunch of soccer balls, and we had mold on stuff, and it took hours and hours of cleaning that stuff and having to purchase new stuff and so I’m really looking forward to not having to deal with that,” said head Madras girls coach Shawn Darrow.
The complex will also add something the facility has never had before, field lights. A win for parents who spectate and students who play.
“Most of the time our games have gotten postponed because football is taking up the field or something else is going on over there because of lights,” said junior Idaly Romero. “And it’s going to be too dark to play here. So I think that’s going to be really cool and I think it’s going to bring more attention to our program.”
The school district is hoping the complex will be complete by the start of the soccer season this fall.
Even seniors who won’t be able to use the new amenities are happy for the next generation of White Buffalo athletes.
“It hasn’t happened in a while. like nothing big has happened here,” said senior Diamond Amiya. “There’s been so many holes, like been a lot of twisting ankles. So it’s going to be cool to see that none of that happens anymore. And it’s going to be cool just to see what it does for the future players that come next.”
The $24 million bond also goes towards several updates and upgrades for other schools around the district.
If you ask anyone whose been involved in the program throughout the years, these soccer upgrades are a major score and a long time coming.
“That’s a bond that lasts for quite a while, and people are going to be paying for this for a while,” said Jones. “So hopefully they’ll get something that looks relatively good, and hopefully we can come in and showcase our kids, and hopefully we get crowds that night that we have not had before. So I’m excited about that.”