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Burnet stadium ready for Meet the Bulldogs, first scrimmage

Burnet High School Bulldog Field

By Aug. 12, workers had finished striping the track at Bulldog Field. Burnet Consolidated Independent School District maintenance workers power cleaned the home stands a day before welcoming fans to the stadium for Meet the Bulldogs on Aug. 13.

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

BURNET — As the Burnet High School varsity football team made its way out of the field house to sit in the home stands for its annual team photo, players made sure to stay off the newly painted track at Bulldog Field.

A painter was bending down every few meters to add stripes to the black surface of the eight-lane track. That was the final part of stadium renovations, which included synthetic turf on the playing field, prompting athletic director Kurt Jones to declare Bulldog Field the site for Meet the Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13. The next day, the Llano High School football team travels to Burnet for a controlled scrimmage and has the honor of being the first opponent to play on the synthetic turf. Sub-varsity teams play at 6 p.m. with varsity action to begin at 7:30 p.m.

“That’s been the plan,” Jones said. “We felt like everything was going to be ready to go.”

Burnet High School Bulldog Field
By Aug. 12, workers had finished striping the track at Bulldog Field. Burnet Consolidated Independent School District maintenance workers power cleaned the home stands a day before welcoming fans to the stadium for Meet the Bulldogs on Aug. 13.

“I think it’s great,” senior running back Brock Foster said. “I think the people who did this have done a great job.”

The Bulldogs practiced on the field for the first time Aug. 12 and walked the field at the end of practice a day earlier.

Jones smiled when asked if administrators are happy or relieved to have the work at the stadium finished.

“I guess it’s like anybody who has built a house,” he said. “There’s some relief, but the excitement outweighs the relief.”

Voters approved a bond in November with about $1.6 million going to athletic facilities that included the synthetic turf, a new  track and new black fencing and brick fencing at Bulldog Field. Work began on the field April 6.

The Bulldogs rarely lose at home because of the environment created at Bulldog Field. Opponents know they not only have to fight for every yard, but they also have yell out instructions since fans are boisterous with plenty of enthusiasm and the student body is never shy about supporting their classmates.

So Jones said while the turf is new, the desire to win isn’t unfamiliar.

“Obviously, the kids know everything is new out here,” he said. “Our approach and preparation has been the same. We’re going to work hard and prepare.”

The seniors want to continue to the strong tradition of having a true home field advantage.

“This is the first team to (play on the new turf),” defensive back and receiver Darius Johnson said. “We want to do our best.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com