When coaches and members of the athletics department pulled up to Umatilla High School earlier this week one notable change was present. The orange and black goal posts which had been a fixture at Umatilla High School for decades were gone! They were replaced with new state of the art modern goal posts which resemble college level type posts.
(The new yellow goal posts are a change from the black and orange ones that had adorned the field for decades. They are the most up to date version of goal posts in high school football. The resemble college goal posts.)
The new posts are yellow. Well over 90% of football goal posts are yellow so this is nothing new. However it will take some getting used to. The old goal posts were at the end of their life. The school had painted them and tried to refurbish them for the past few years. They were still in decent shape but it was time for new ones. The old goal posts were transfered over to the Umatilla Football Practice Field becasue the field never had goalposts before. So the old posts will still get plenty of use.
(The last photo of the old black and orange goal posts before they were dismantled. These goalposts were installed over at the Umatilla High School Practice Field which up until 2023 incredibly never had field goal posts.)
The school put out an announcement about needing this new infrastructure and the amount of support the school received from the community was immense! There were so many businesses and people who wanted to help this school make this happen. Alan & Sarah Pounders who’s son Tyler Pounders plays as a wide reciever and corner back, took the lead effort. There was a ton of positivity surrounding the project and plenty of local companies wanted to help out. It was really heartwarming to say the least.
(As a thank you to the donors, the school put up a banner with the names of everyone who helped fund the project to completition. It says “To all who made these goals possible for our hometown school THANK YOU!!”)
Coach Eric Samuels contacted us the other day to show us the new goal posts. Samuels said “I am so appreciative of everyone who helped out to have those installed. It helps make the stadium more modern and up to date.” The old goal posts were actually sagging across the center cross bar. They were still in decent shape and were recently painted. Howeber after years of weather, storms, sun and footballs hitting the posts, it was time for them to be retired at least competitively. The posts will get a new lease on life at the Umatilla High School Practice fields and were installed a few days ago.
(Head Coach Eric Samuels far left stands with the Umatilla Football Team. The new improvements have the stadium looking even better than Eric Samuels playing career at the stadium back in the late 2000s.)
The new goal posts are completely straight and offer the best possible outcome for field goals and point after attempts. The goal posts are just a small part of the recent renovations to take place at the stadium. They offer a glimps of the small but important projects that have taken place to spruce up the once sun beat and tired looking stadium. Since Principal Fraizer and Eric Samuels have come on board, small projects like these have had a positive impact on the school.
(These will take some getting used to for long time supporters of Umatilla. We did not get an answer if these goal posts would ever be painted black or white. If we get an answer we will be sure to pass that along.)
Other renovations have included the painting of the grandstands and the painting of the concession stands. Other areas of the stadium were painted as well. The stadium was just pressure washed and the natural grass surface has been well maintained this year.
(The actual stadium was painted and pressure washed. It looks as good as the day the concrete was poured decades ago. We love this stadium because it has a certain character to it. It takes football back to it’s roots.)
The only area of concern is directly underneath the goal posts. The natural grass surface had to get new sod put in. It will get some time to grow before the next game on September 29th against Mount Dora High. Athletic Director Patrick Todd said “After the old goalposts were dug up we had to re-sod the area underneath the goalposts. The grass is growing really good and it should be ready to go for the next game.” Grass should be grown back in by the 29th so it should not be a concern to the players safety. This was a good strategic move doing this during the teams bye week.
(Note the lack of natural grass under the goal posts. That should be grown back in by the time of the next home game which is September, 29th against Mount Dora High. It should not be a safety concern.)
Overall these enhancements have been noted by parents and opposing teams coming to play Umatilla. There is a sign in the endzone denoting the donors of the goal post project. We are thankful for the community support of this and we look forward to many great years of Umatilla Football played with these new goal posts.