STRATFORD, Wis. (WSAW)-- The field at Tiger Stadium in Your Town Stratford has seen some memorable performances in its 48 years. But the old ball field won't make it to 50.
"Overall, right now it looks OK. But once you start playing on it and it rains it tends to be a problem," said high school football coach Jason Tubbs.
The field no longer drains like it should. In the last couple of seasons they've had to move, change or cancel altogether middle school and JV games due to poor field conditions. When Stratford was preparing for their state championship game back in mid-November, the field was unplayable.
"So this is one of our main problem areas here," said Tubbs. "This side there's a big trough. You can tell teh crown has gone from being a hump doen to being basically a 1-2% in. So the water that rains here comes here and just sits here and kills the grass and in the middle it kind of dies out, too, where the majority of the play is at."
When looking at options to improve, the best solution is artificial turf with a price tag of $750,000. With the Quarterback Club leading the charge, they've raised more than $237,000 in 4 weeks with the target being the 2020 season.
"I think once they see groundbreaking or that it's a reality," said Jamie Leonhardt, president of the Quarterback Club, "I think the money's going to come pouring in and the support will be stronger than it is now."
"The Kafka family has been very generous with their part of the field," added Tubbs. "Removing everything was $150,000 right off the bat. We'll continue to knock on doors."
If the booster club can take care of the field, the school will likely replace the track. But also...
"One of our project ideas is to get these (visitor) bleachers down closer to the track," said Tubbs. "But you can see there's water right there, still they can't mow so we'd have to build that up and one of our donors said he'd be willing to give us more money to get that part of the project added."
And new lights some time down the road.