June 19, 2023

Last Ever Villages High School Football Home Game On Natural Grass

2.6 min read| Published On: June 19th, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

Last Ever Villages High School Football Home Game On Natural Grass

2.6 min read| Published On: June 19th, 2023|

It was the final time The Villages Buffalo would ever take to the field. But not just a football field, this was the last home game on Natural Grass, and the Final Home Game ever at The Original Villages High School. The day saw a few different teams take to the field including the 6th and 7th grade teams which tied 6-6. Then the 7th and 6th grade game ended with the Green on top of the Gold 8-6. Finally the Varsity team took to the field one final time.

(Often plagued by drainage problems in August and September the all natural grass field provided old school mud games that were always fun to watch.)

Say what you want about turf. Some people says it causes more injuries, some people say it’s better becasue it makes the game faster, whatever the case may be Natural Grass is gone and turf is in next year. Turf does require grooming and maitanance just like grass but not as intense. The problem with Natural Grass especially at The Villages was the lack of draining. Sometimes the field would take on so much water that there would be visible puddles in the field of play.

(The last time High School athletes would ever grace this beautiful athletic complex field. Next year an entire new campus awaits.)

Many memories were shared on this final game at The Original High School. Coach Richard Pettus said “It was an honor turning the lights on at this facility 20 years ago and it’s an honor to be the same person to shut them off one final time.” The game was the focus of the players and individuals but for some it was a final chance to say goodbye to The Origianal High School.

“I have been coming here for years said Jill. It will be a transition to travel south to the games now but the new facilities look incredible. I am looking forward to seeing them.” The new facility is about 30 minutes south of the current location.

Overall the Gold team had a terrific game with Quarterback Patrick Harding and Que Kennedy balling out. Both these players are going to be really fun to watch this season. Patrick Harding should be the starting QB this year. Danny Bitting was the QB last year but the team had many issues. Bitting did his best but we will see what this season brings for him. Meanwhile Alvon Isaac led the way for the Green team. Isaac has offers to many Divison 1 programs and we will take great interest in which school he chooses in the coming months.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock the end of The H.G. Morse Range was finally here. The only other High School event to use the stadium will be Graduation Day and that will oficially mark the last High School event at The Original School. It’s been awesome to see this small little program grow into what it is today. The new school will be one of the most technologically advanced schools in the nation. The athletic fields and arena will be better than many collegiate level programs.

(The Final ever Green vs Gold Game at the Original Villages High School enters it’s final moments as the clock ticks down.)

But in the back of everyones mind, were the memories shared at this great stadium. The H.G. Morse range will not be demolished. Instead the old High School will be repurposed as the North Villages Middle School. The facilities will still be used, but the days of major events will be in the mirror.

We can’t wait to see the brand new Villages Charter School open in just a few short months!

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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