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Boosters propose plan for FHS soccer stadium

Funding for a proposed Farragut High School soccer stadium, said to cost between $150,000 and $200,000, got an emotional boost this weekend though future funding sources are uncertain and Knox County approval is pending.

The Second Annual Brooke Culbreth Alumni Memorial Soccer Game Saturday, April 19, at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field that featured Farragut versus Bearden alumni players, raised funds toward a concession stand to be named in the late Brooke Culbreth’s honor at the proposed new stadium. That stadium would be located adjacent to Farragut Intermediate School at the current FHS practice field site.

Brooke was a beloved and reliable team manager for the Farragut boys soccer team from 2003 until her graduation from FHS in 2006.

“It would be an honor to my family and I know my little girl would love to know that she was always at the soccer field in name,” said Wallie Culbreth, Brooke’s father and FHS boys soccer head coach.

Culbreth added that a new stadium, “Would be a wonderful thing if we could do that so soccer would have a home. I think after the success teams have had through the years at Farragut, they deserve that.”

However, Ron Dresen, president of the FHS Lady Admirals Soccer Boosters, said there has yet to be a point person step up to lead fund-raising, adding that current booster funds on hand are far short of what is needed.

“Haven’t had anybody walk up and raise their hand and say, ‘I want to be champion to get this field done,’” Dresen said. “That’s not that people wouldn’t help. … We’ve got a real great volunteer group from our ladies team, and I’m sure the boys have the same thing.”

Key elements of the new field — which Dresen estimated would cost between $150,000 and $200,000 — would be aluminum stands of undetermined capacity, lighting, a scoreboard, small pressbox similar in size to Bearden’s box at Bruce Allender Field, concession stand with restrooms (or portable restrooms on a temporary basis) and a fence to enclose the facility.

Unlike Bill Clabo Field’s restricted field size for soccer, which is about eight yards narrower than regulation width, the proposed field meets regulation requirements (110-by-65 yards).

Dennis Lindsay, FHS girls soccer head coach, said there’s a “proposal” among TSSAA leadership circles to require at least state sectional playoff games be played on a field “at least 60 yards wide,” about three yards wider than Bill Clabo Field’s capacity.

Culbreth said there’s a “push among some coaches associations across the state to make it where you would have to play on a regulation field, and that’s going to put a lot of schools in a bind.”

Lindsay added the FHS girls “generally have skilled teams, so the wider the field the better we are.

“It would also reduce the conflicts we might have with other sports at the football field. It would make things a lot more convenient, not have to haul things back-and-forth to games.”

Lindsay said the FIS field “could turn into one of the nicest facilities around, while Dresen labeled the FIS field “probably one of the nicer game fields in the state, when you come right down to it.”

The project is pending approval by Knox County Board of Education and Knox County Schools superintendent.


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