Supporters of Brookland-Cayce High School’s athletics teams turned out in big numbers Sunday to witness the unveiling of the Bearcats’ new stadium.
More than 1,000 fans were in attendance as officials from Lexington 2 schools, Cayce mayor Elise Partin and Bearcats athletics director Rusty Charpia cut the ribbon on the new facility, which will be known simply as Brookland-Cayce Stadium for the time being.
The 5,000-seat arena announces its presence along Knox Abbott Drive with Gatsbyesque columns, and Bearcat sports fans poured in from all entrances to inspect their new home field, from the turf to the top of the press box.
Lexington 2 superintendent Venus Holland said, “This is something that has been a dream for many, many years, and I’m so excited that, as a result of all of the hard efforts and teamwork, that we are here today.”
“The kids are all excited, I’m excited. Our kids are excited about playing in here. We’ve had a few practices in, and we’re ready to go,” Charpia said. “I think it heightens the program, and it makes everybody aware that football is important, and soccer is important, not only to the B-C faithful, but to the entire district.”
District school board vice chairman Phillip Carter said, “The kids and the community here deserve this.”
“They really haven’t had an adequate facility here in 15 years, so it’s long overdue, and we’re so glad that we are able to celebrate this new home for Brookland-Cayce’s sports,” he said.
The Cage, the Bearcats’ previous home stadium, was built in the 1950s, and always will have a special place in the school’s history.
But the new stadium – a project that broke ground last summer and is part of a $9 million facilities upgrade – points toward a new future for Brookland-Cayce.
In addition to being a superb facility for the football and soccer teams, the larger stadium is a suitable venue for state championship contests and band competitions, Holland boasted.
The Bearcats moved their football equipment into their new locker rooms after the festivities on Sunday evening, and will host Fairfield Central in a Week 0 contest on Friday.
The Bearcats’ old home got its name for its small size. The new stadium, with its bigger stands, sidelines, concessions area and locker room facilities, could be given a different name, but no timetable has been set, officials said.