Football, soccer teams have new home
By Greg Seubert
The turf is installed, bleachers are in place and the concession stand will be open for business.
It’s time to play some football and soccer.
Waupaca High School will unveil Comet Field, the WaupacaSchool District’s new football and soccer field, Friday, Aug. 25, as the football team host Shawano at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the boys’ soccer team’s first game on the new field, against Wrightstown, is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.
The $2.3-million facility adjacent to the high school includes a synthetic turf field; a resurfaced track and other track improvements; increased grandstand seating; additional storage areas and restrooms; and a new, larger concession area.
Three major donors – Waupaca Foundry, Farmers State Bank and First National Bank – stepped forward as the district announced a fundraising campaign earlier this year to raise $1 million for the project. The district continues to receive private donations toward the project.
Comet Field replaces Haberkorn Field, which the district has used for several years for varsity, junior varsity, freshman and middle school football games. It is also built on the former soccer field that hosted boys’ and girls’ soccer games and track meets.
To mark the occasion, the district will sponsor a tailgate party before the Aug. 25 football game that will include hamburgers, brats, hotdogs and potato chips.
“Everybody’s asking me if it’s going to be ready,” football coach Tom Noltner said. “I keep telling them, ‘They say it’s going to be ready.’”
Seven of the Comets’ nine football games will be played on turf this season. In addition to five home games, the team opened the season Aug. 18 on Menasha High School’s new turf field at Calder Stadium. Waupaca will also face West De Pere later in the season on the Phantoms’ turf field in De Pere.
It won’t take long for players to notice a difference between turf and natural grass, according to Noltner.
“The game is going to be faster,” he said. “You’re going to see more speed. You’re not going to see anyone slipping down or anything. You’re just going to see the game being a lot more faster, so you better be ready.”
Although the Comets and Shawano were shut out in their respective openers to Menasha and West De Pere, Noltner said the team is looking forward to playing on its new home field.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere,” he said. “Come on out and we’re going to give you a good game.”