Trashed Field Ready for Thanksgiving Football Game - NECN


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Trashed Field Ready for Thanksgiving Football Game



    Thanks to a local business owner, the field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, severely damaged during a Brazilian festival, was ready way ahead of schedule, in time for the Thanksgiving football game between rival high schools. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016)

    A football field badly damaged during a Brazilian festival in Lawrence, Massachusetts, is ready way ahead of schedule, thanks to a local business owner.

    When Central Catholic High School's athletic director, Ernie Difiore, heard about what happened to Veterans Memorial Stadium, he said a few Hail Marys that the field would be ready by Thanksgiving day.

    "There was a lot of prayer going on, yes," Difiorie said.

    The annual football game between rivals Central Catholic and Lawrence High School was at stake. Central's head football coach, Chuck Adamopoulos, says the chances looked grim.

    "I didn't plan on us playing here," Adamopoulos said.

    No one believed it could be replaced this year after the damage done during a Brazilian festival in early October. But Chris Huntress did.

    "You had a home field taken away from high school athletes young men and women by actions from adults," said Huntress, the owner of Huntress Sports.

    A day after this incident, he contacted the city of Lawrence. He quietly offered the services of his architechtural firm for free, asking the city to bypass the bidding process and cut through the red tape.

    Instead of a one year timeline to replace the turf, crews did it in six weeks. And as they put on the finishing touches, Mayor Daniel Rivera says the track still needs to be rebuilt and they’re in the process of suing some of the festival vendors to recoup costs.

    "We have to make sure and go back and make sure the people who do this pay," Rivera said.

    Otherwise, his community has a lot to be grateful for during this season of Thanksgiving.

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