Jemison to face CCHS in revamped stadium
By Scott Mims
The Jemison Panthers saw their first football action Friday night in the newly refurbished Panther Stadium.
Following a 21-18 loss to the Marbury Bulldogs in exhibition play, now Jemison sets its sights on the first regular season game against archrival Chilton County High School. The Panthers will host this game Thursday night at 7 (gates open at 5 p.m.)
“Our first game in the newly renovated Panther Stadium went well,” Principal Alan Thompson said. “We are excited about our first home game in the upgraded facility on Thursday against Chilton County High.”
Fans should notice some significant improvements from last year, Thompson said.
The large cracks along the back of the home bleachers are gone now, and the damaged concrete has been replaced with all new material. The stadium also has a fresh coating of outdoor paint and sealant, accented by panther paws on the numbered seat section.
New fencing has replaced that which was damaged, and new safety rails now stand in the visitor section.
Other changes include the addition of a handicap parking area, a repainted concession stand, and bathrooms with commercial plumbing fixtures.
“This will complete our task for Phase 1,” Thompson said, noting that Phase 2 will involve increasing the stadium’s seating capacity.
Thompson named many individuals and groups that have donated time, money and efforts. A complete list of donors appears just outside the home entrance.
Fundraising efforts and donations totaled $20,735 from this past spring, when the project was started.
Those who attend Thursday’s game will see 25-second play clocks donated by Coca-Cola.
Thompson added that the Jemison-CCHS game will be sponsored by Allstate.
“They’re actually going to do logos on our field, just like a college game,” he said. “They will also have the Humvee here that night.”
During a pre-game ceremony at 6:45, the school will present plaques to several dignitaries who have helped with the project.
These include Rep. Jimmy Martin, Sen. Hank Erwin, Mayor Eddie Reed, members of the Jemison City Council, and Rep. Cam Ward.
Fundraising efforts will continue with another coupon book sale and a steak dinner.
The coupon books feature many restaurants and other businesses in the Birmingham Metro Area and are available from the school office for $20 each.
The school’s athletic club is hosting a steak dinner fundraiser Nov. 21, at 6 p.m., at the school.
The cost is $100 per plate, and a portion of the proceeds will go into a $10,000 grand prize.
Everyone who purchases a ticket will have an opportunity to win.
For more information, call the school office at 280-4860.