No new stadium can replace the nostalgia associated with a long-time venue. That’s especially true in Monticello, where the old football field held decades and decades of memories, including conference championships, state tournament teams, unforgettable players, and legendary coaches.
But nostalgia might be the only thing missing at the brand-new Monticello Memorial Stadium, which debuted to a large section of the Monticello community this past Friday night.
The stadium, which Monticello Athletic Director Gary Revenig estimates held approximately 3,500 people Friday, dazzled in a variety of ways. The new scoreboard was vivid, the replays were useful, the sound was sharp, and the sunset was picturesque.
Yet the biggest takeaway, at least for those on the field, was the crowd that came with it. Students packed their section, which is twice the size it was at the old field, and were rowdy from the start. The rest of the home bleachers, which seat 2,000 people, were nearly full. And fans lined the fence around the stadium, as well.
Revenig said it was the third largest gate that Monti has taken in eight years, and that with more student passes sold than ever before, Revenig believes Friday night equated to one of the biggest crowds in school history.
“Seriously, I didn’t think we would fill this place up,” said Coach Jason Telecky, following the game Friday night. “That was awesome - what a credit to the community.”
Tyler Jassmann, a senior for the Magic, said he couldn’t believe students filled their section for the first game of the year.
“It was amazing,” he said. “The crowd was awesome, it was energetic, it was great.”
Senior Brandon Loftman agreed.
“It was an unreal experience,” said Loftman. “It was the best experience I’ve had.”
Even those from out of town walked away from the night impressed, both by the new stadium and the energy that filled it on Friday night.
“They put on a great show. It was a really fun atmosphere here tonight,” Mitch Stroh, Elk River’s senior quarterback, told the Elk River Star News. “Their fans were awesome, our fans were awesome. It doesn’t get much better than Friday nights like this. This is what you look back when you’re 40 years old and think about. That was something pretty cool that I’ll never forget.”
Contact Clay Sawatzke at email@example.com