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A committee will be in charge of gathering community input in an effort to name the new turf field.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - Jerimy Kelley, principal at Scappoose High School, is looking forward to the new football field turf. Scappoose High School will be showing off its new turf field at the Indians' football home opener on Friday, Sept. 2, against Gladstone.

As for what the Indians' home field will be called — that has yet to be decided.

The district is taking the next step by setting up a committee to name the new turf field.

Earlier this year, the Scappoose School District raised more than $1 million for the ambitious project from individuals, businesses and in-kind donations. The effort took only a few weeks. School officials celebrated the groundbreaking June 23.

"The school board appointed a committee to gather information from our community to see what people would be interested in naming the turf field," said Jerimy Kelley, Scappoose High School principal.

Kelley explained that the committee will formulate a list of names, based on community feedback. Those names will then be presented to the school board.

"We have around 150 responses so far," Kelley added. "We're gathering feedback for at least the next two weeks."

The naming advisory committee is made up of nine individuals — six of whom are voting members, three of whom are non-voting — who represent both Scappoose High School and the community at large.

"We just want to make sure that we have a transparent process and we do it right, and we give the school board accurate data that represents the wants of the community," Kelley said.

Scappoose athletic director Dale French is looking forward to introducing the new turf field to the community.

"I think it's long overdue, because of the traditions and the passion that Scappoose has for its high school," French said. "Scappoose has always been a very proud city that supports their athletics and students across the board."

French added, "It's a great time, especially after the pandemic, to have such a celebratory event to get everybody together and just continue to celebrate the successes that we have."

The timing is perfect, according to French.

"It's great timing, just from the standpoint of we're rejoining our traditional league, back into the Cowapa League," French noted, referring to Scappoose's move back to the 4A level after several years competing at 5A. "That's exciting not just for football but for soccer and the youth teams. It will be used by track and will be a great addition to the Scappoose community."

While the old grass field presented challenges, French said the maintenance department did a "fabulous" job getting the field ready for a football season.

"That includes kind of bringing it back to life after a dry summer," French said.

He explained, "The challenge was that practicing on the field too much could wear it out for games. Toward the end of the season, and into the playoffs, the field would become a little bit of a challenge, weather-wise."

Kelley said the community raised just under $1.7 million dollars for the turf project.

"The cost of the facility is going to be between $1.5 million and $1.7 million when all is said and done," Kelley said. "It was a quite a great amount of support from our community, in that Scappoose is known for their support of the school and our kids. This is just another example of this."

French said there were times the team had to play games that Scappoose was supposed to host up the road instead — on the field of its archrival, St. Helens, which has artificial turf — or at another venue.

The field is currently being installed. The plan is that it will be ready for the football home opener.

A Google form is available from the district's Facebook page if you wish to contribute to the naming.

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