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franklin county times

Cougars christen stadium with win

By By Marty Stamper
Sept. 10, 2001
DECATUR – Not even a heavy late afternoon shower could dampen the spirits of the Newton County High School supporters Friday as they opened their new 5,000-seat football stadium with a 21-7 win over arch-rival Newton.
An hour before kickoff, a long row of Cougar fans waited in line outside Cougar Stadium for their turn to get in.
Their own
For many of the fans from Decatur, it was their first time to have a football stadium to call their own as they had to play at East Central Junior/Community College's field throughout the years.
For the other Newton County fans who live at Hickory, Beulah Hubbard, or Chunky, it was the finest high school football stadium they've ever been a part of.
While some may have missed part of the pregame ceremonies trying to get in due to the big crowd, they certainly enjoyed what they saw once they got in.
As Newton County principal Rodney Tadlock proudly proclaimed prior to kickoff, "Isn't it a great day to be a Cougar?"
That statement was met with a roar of approval.
Pierce also singled out Newton County forester John Moore, who was in charge of the timber cutting on 16th section land; Ricky Harrison of East Central Community College, who drew the plans for the field, concession stands, track, etc.; and Ricky Chaney, who did numerous jobs in getting the facility ready.
Final touches
It wasn't until around 10 a.m. Friday that the final touches on the bleachers were made, Pierce said.
The two rivals entertained the nearly packed stadium before the Cougars settled the issue with Darryl Mapp's third touchdown of the game with 3:29 to play.
As expected, parking was a problem, especially trying to leave the campus down Highway 503. But when you've seen places that have little or no fan support, that really isn't such a bad problem after all.
Especially as long as you're not on deadline.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com or call him at 693-1551 ext. 3234.

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