October 6, 2006
Laney Wildcats fans will roar into a brand new stadium next Friday.
The high school has been without a stadium for more than 40 years, but the community scored a touchdown when plans to build a multi-million dollar stadium gave Laney fans something more to cheer about.
It's been 40 years and now finally the Wildcats have a place to call their own.
Eric Parker has coached Laney football for 10 years without ever having true home field advantage.
"We've always practiced on a half of a field behind the gym here," he told News 12.
But next Friday when Laney steps into the spotlight, they will be greeted by a stadium that's capable of holding 9000.
Retiring school superintendent Dr. Charles Larke says this project, which includes a baseball field, softball field, and athletic facilities is by far his favorite under his administration.
"I couldn't leave until this was finished," he said. "I had to see it to the end."
Juriah Lewis is a 1970 graduate of Laney High School. He helped the Booster Club sell pavers at the stadium for $100 apiece. Now, there are memories etched into 347 pavers.
"There's no other team and no other school like a Laney grad," Lewis said. "It's something that's intangible. Once you say you graduated from Laney, it just covers it all."
It's Laney pride that carried on even when they didn't have a stadium.
"Years ago we use to play in something called the dust bowl," Lewis recalled.
"To have gone 40 years without a home field, I can understand how they feel finally having a place to call their own," Dr. Larke said.
Officials plan to roll out the red carport from the school across the street to the new stadium on Sunday.
Local leaders, Laney alumni, and the community will be given tours of the new stadium.
The reception starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m.
Laney High Stadium Tours
Sunday, October 8
4 p.m. - 6p.m.
Commissioners, Alumni, & Community