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New football field is sign of hope in Cody-Rouge

By Kiara Duncan and Amber Oliver Staff Writers

There’s a sense of pride spreading through the Cody-Rouge neighborhood, and it shows in reactions to the new football field. Two weeks ago the Cody Comets played their first home football game in six years.

The new field was planned as part of the big renovation Life Remodeled did this summer with thousands of volunteers, including many Cody campus students. When not enough money had been raised for the field, two of those volunteers, Bob and Jean Wallrich, donated $300,000.

“What a great time for all people to get together in this city and what a great hope, too, for the kids,” Bob Wallrich said in an interview after the donation. The couple asked for the field to be called Hope Field.

The last time Cody played at home was 2006. Coach William (Gooch) Gray has been with the Comets for 20 years and said the old field was beautiful, but vandals made it unplayable.

“We had no water out there. They tore up the water fountains, the bleachers, the lights, the scoreboard — everything,” Gray said.

Gray said the new field will be protected by a fence that curves over at the top. It will be open to the public during the day for community members to use the track.

Vandalism is often a problem after repairs or improvements to the school, but with so many improvements happening at the same time, some students think things will be different.

APL junior Damon Hightower plays defense for the Comets. He thinks vandalism won’t be a problem at Hope Field because it means something to everyone.

“It’s going to show we’re improving as a community, it could make the violence go down and like there’s hope for our community,” Hightower said.

APL senior Da’Jane Jones has been cheering at Cody since her sophomore year. She said the field makes a difference because now home games feel like home.

“More people attend the games and show support for the Comets,” Jones said. “I’m proud that before graduation I got the to have the experience of cheering on Hope Field.”


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