South Charleston Black Eagles Soar to New Heights

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- No doubt about it, some great memories have been made at Oakes Field by the South Charleston Black Eagles.

But Friday was a chance to create some new memories for the team and its loyal fans in a brand new place.

"For the first time in South Charleston High School history, we are going to be playing football on campus," Principal Mike Arbogast beamed. "It is an exciting day."

The clock started counting down on the day as it broke.

The stadium flag pole went up early Friday morning. The paint was still in cans on the field

"It's a work in progress, Arbogast said.

For the principal it was truly a labor of love.

Only the bleachers and the lights at the new facility were paid with by taxpayer dollars.

The new scoreboard, the goal posts, the field clocks, the concession stand -- all were made possible by donations from individuals, companies and even the city of South Charleston.

"Without them stepping up to give us a hand and help us fulfill our vision and our dream, it wouldn't have been a reality," Arbogast said. "It really has been a true community effort."

South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullins also helped by allowing city workers to do work at the school to make the new on-campus facility a reality.

"In the last couple of years, there have been rumors about when we are going to be able to play up here," student Marquel Hampton said. "And last year, they told us it was a really good chance. So this year to see it all happen, it's pretty great, and I am glad it happened for me and all my seniors."

Arbogast said when the National Anthem starts playing Friday night, he will feel relief. Head coach Donnie Mays says he will be thinking "we better win."

"I am excited for the kids to be honest, the fact that we don't have to travel," Coach Mays said.

"We have a new head coach, so everything is new. We might as well just go all out and transform everything," Hampton said.

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