‘Quite a journey’: After three years, J.R. Tucker football team will play first home game in new stadium
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Hundreds of people across Central Virginia will pack the stands for the start of high school football season, a night with a lot of meaning for the football team at J.R. Tucker High School.
On Friday night, the team will play their first home game in three years against the Caroline Cavaliers in their new stadium.
“Just to be back in this place, this place is perfect,” said Chris Brown, director of student activities at J.R. Tucker High School.
Brown said there will be special moments during the game to commemorate the completion of the new Fred. W. Wells Stadium, which includes paying homage to the school’s history while providing a look to the future.
“What our coaches and athletes persevered through to get to this point, it was a heck of a journey,” Brown said.
Brown said the new stadium was built on the grounds where the old J.R. Tucker High School once stood.
“We’re standing on this field where our old school used to be,” he said. “Where the school is now is where the stadium used to be. We literally flip-flopped.”
The new building for J.R. Tucker High School opened last fall to students and staff, but the stadium had to go through an additional year of work.
In the meantime, Brown said student-athletes and coaches worked around this to sharpen their skills and host home games.
“We were practicing at whatever patch of grass we could find, Glover Park, we were taking buses to practice,” Brown said. “We played our home games at Freeman and Hermitage when they would allow it.”
The new stadium includes a new fieldhouse, concession stand, a 400-meter track, and a synthetic turf field.
“The upkeep is a lot less on all of us. The financial impact is great because we don’t have to constantly groom the field,” Brown said. “We’re fully outfitted for field hockey, lines for field hockey, lines for soccer.”
A field turning a page on a new chapter for these student-athletes.
“A lot of these kids in all sports, they love what they do and they love competing and they love their sport, but they really had to sacrifice for three years. This is really their night. They’re going to experience something they’ve never experienced before,” Brown said.
The J.R. Tucker Tigers are set to take on the Caroline Cavaliers starting at 7 p.m.
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