The Carolina Panthers celebrated a special evening at York (S.C.) Comprehensive High School as the school christened its spacious, new 6,500-seat football stadium following the beginning of the school year on Aug. 18. The Cougar marching band provided a crisp soundtrack for the 1,000 spectators gathered in the stadium for the ceremony, which featured introductions for each of the school's fall athletic teams.
The stadium's state-of-the-art synthetic turf field was funded in part by a $200,000 grant from the NFL Grassroots Fund. The grant was one of only 16 awarded nationally in 2009 by the NFL and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. In addition to serving the Cougars' athletic programs, the field will be utilized by 14 youth associations and community groups on a year-round basis.
Panthers President Danny Morrison spoke to the enthusiastic crowd before presenting York School District One Superintendent Dr. Vernon Prosser with a ceremonial check for the grant award.
"The Carolina Panthers are excited to join forces with York School District One to provide this new resource for the York community," said Carolina Panthers Director of Community Relations Riley Fields. "The support and passion for youth and prep football have long been important links that help tie the York community together. It is our privilege to be part of this effort that will serve children and families with new opportunities for recreation and physical activity."
Since 2000, nearly $1 million in NFL Grassroots funding has assisted youth athletic associations, non-profit agencies and school districts in North and South Carolina.