Rollin T. Gridley Stadium at Tucson High Magnet School hosted first home football game of the season last Friday after renovations repaired flood damage to the field caused by a large monsoon storm that hit central Tucson on July 19, 2017.
The Badgers faced off against the Pueblo High School Warriors on the new turf on Friday, Aug. 24.
“The finalization of our football field is such a relief and more importantly an exciting way to start the year knowing that our students, families and community will be back in Gridley stadium,” said Shawna Rodriguez, principal of Tucson High Magnet School.
“Our Badgers have been resilient throughout this situation, and we are stronger for it. I am so thrilled for our teams and 100 members of our Marching Band will be back on their home turf where they bring so many exciting moments and memories for our student body and families,” Rodriguez said. “Thank all of those who made this day possible. Go Big Red!”
A field dedication was held prior to the game at 6:30 p.m, and Rodriguez, Head Coach Justin Argraves, Athletic Director Bobby DeBerry and Assistant Principal of Activities and Athletics Roberto Thompson were available for interviews at the event. That same evening the football team room was also be dedicated to our former football coach Eric Watson. Coach Watson, you will be missed, but future Badgers will always remember you!
After the flood happened, Tucson Unified School District’s Risk Management Manager Nicole Lowery and Director of Interscholastics Herman House studied the site with experts, and determined the field was not usable until repairs to both the field drainage system and the sports field turf were complete.
Tucson Unified Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo worked with the Tucson Unified Governing Board to secure funding for a replacement field and repairs to the drainage.
Until this storm damage, the last time football was not played in Gridley Stadium was during World War II.
Patricia Cisneros, Damon Ballesteros, and Bill Hartigan lead the restoration project, which began on May 25, the day after graduation.
Mr. Ballesteros and Mr. Hartigan met with Tucson High Magnet School administrators daily, providing construction updates and working with Tucson High staff and subcontractors to ensure we had the support needed to complete the project in the short summer break timeline. Initial construction focused on repairing the drainage system under Gridley Field and then installing the new field turf.
Tucson High Magnet School would like to thank the following people for their help and support. Without you, we would not have our field! City Councilmen Richard Fimbres, Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, Board President Michael Hicks, Board Clerk Kristel Foster, Board Members Adelita Grijalva, Rachael Sedgqick, and Dr. Mark Stegeman, Herman House, Nicole Lowery, Patricia Cisneros, Midge Irwin, Damon Ballesteros, and Bill Hartigan. Thank you from all current and former Badgers!