MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After decades of playing on an unlit grass field, athletes at South High School in Minneapolis will now play at a state-of-the-art facility.

“I woke up this morning and I was just excited,” said South High senior Thomas Isebrand. “I woke up way earlier than I normally would during the summer.”

This is the first home football game at South High School under stadium lights.

“It was long overdue,” said Amy Cardarelle, South High’s athletic director.

Until now, students had to play on an old grass field that was usually a mud field.

“We could never really practice on it because we didn’t want to tear up the grass,” said head coach Rodney Lossow. “We had storm grates on a lot of our corners, so it was very dangerous.”

No lights meant lots of games were played on the road, and they needed to be scheduled early if they were at home.

“Varsity games were at 3:30. J.V games at 4. Had to get them in before it got dark, obviously,” Lossow said.

The transformation started about a year ago. At some point, it became clear that there wouldn’t be enough money to cover the press box or the sound system — and that’s where Harvey Feldman comes in.

“I said, ‘Let’s do it,’” Feldman said.

He footed the bill for the press box and speakers.

“First-class kids deserve first-class facilities, and this is first class,” Feldman said.

They’ve waited patiently.

“Everybody is super excited. I think we’re going to have a big crowd tonight. It’s going to be super fun,” said South High parent Pierre Hamilton. “I think it’s great. Like, it looks really, really good out here.”

And now the South High Tigers will finally get to experience that feeling you get playing under those Friday, or Thursday night lights.

“This gives them some value,” Hamilton said. “A new field makes them feel really, really important.”

The stadium at North High School is under construction right now. They will be the last school in the district to get their stadium lights.

Erin Hassanzadeh

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