EHS ribbon cutting sees large crowd; homecoming excitement

Students and contributors gather on Sept. 22 to cut the ribbon an celebrate the opening of Kay Fackrell Stadium. (HERALD PHOTO/Hayden Godfrey)

Evanston High School cut the ribbon for their new and improved Kay Fackrell Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 22. Cheerleaders performed a short routine as the crowd filed past the new press box and into their seats, some stopping to admire the entirely renovated track and field.
The ceremony started off properly with a marching band performance of the national anthem, directed by band instructor Richard Zigweid. Shortly thereafter, seniors involved in activities were called to the 50-yard line. “These students, as well as the rest of the student body, are the reason for this ribbon-cutting ceremony,” said  announcer Jacob Cowan. “Investing in our youth is the reason for our future.”
Next, Cowan thanked the project’s contributors. While the students are to blame for the project’s conception, several external companies brought it to life. The partners and contributors were named, alongside representatives for each. Invited to the field were Jed Easterbrook of Field Turf; Darrell Norris and Mitchell Hutchinson, representing Dave Norris Construction; IME; Karl Miller, representing CD’s Electric; Chad Greer of Intertech Communication Electric; Stacey Maxfield, representing Maxfield Construction; Bren Payne and Randy Barker, representing Bear River Siding Company; Angie, Colton Carson and Sami Ellingford, representing Gladiator Materials; Kent Fife of Fife Construction; Trevor Hartzal; American Fencing; Paco Swagger; Brent Sanders; Ronnie and Cassie Torres of Two Guys Flooring; and Ellingford Brothers.
Cowan also mentioned Yellow Creek Ranch Company, who assisted with planning and a temporary easement; Gordon and Crystal Moore, who donated fuel for the removal of a berm; REDI Services, who donated time and resources to the construction of the new storage shed; Searle Brothers Construction, who assisted with the removal of the berm; and the late Miles Con, as well as Con’s wife Nellie.
Cowan subsequently called forward the 2022 Evanston High School Hall of Fame inductees: Shane Burns, Erin Kirby Watsabaugh, Mike Fackrell, Rebecca Bennion, Dennis Ottley (represented by Dave Ottley), Jerry Carroll and the 1997 state championship football team.
The announcer credited Coach Roy Barker and his 2022 track team, who gave up access to the facility last spring so the stadium would be finished at the proper time. The administrative team was recognized for “providing leadership and vision to this project 20 years in the making.” Administrators included Superintendent Ryan Thomas, Facilities and Technology Director Jaraun Dennis, Chief Financial Officer John Williams, Activities Director Bubba O’Neill, EHS Principal Merle Lester, Assistant Principal Scott Kohler and social studies teacher Nathan Conrad.
The following procession toward the field’s center included school board representatives Cassie Torres, Jenny Welling, Joel Wiedrich, Russell Cox, Christa Barker, Caleb Guild, John DuBois, David Peterson and Dan Wheeler. Wheeler and Peterson received a special commendation “for their commitment, daily leadership and vision on this project.”
At this point, a helicopter from Air Life Utah made its approach. Cowant thanked Jen Prince, Erica Rau, Nat Schultz and Valerie Cook, respectively the pilot, paramedic, nurse and logistics organizer onboard, for delivering Student Body President Maya Saavedra and the ceremonial scissors. At a shout of “Go Red Devils” from the crowd, Saavedra cut the ribbon, ending the ceremony and continuing the pep assembly. He then gave a short speech, again thanking everyone involved for their contributions.
Other events included the marching band’s performance of the school song, routines by the cheerleaders and Classics, as well as two powder puff football games and a senior boys’ drill, which featured male upperclassmen donning their favorite lingerie for a Classics-esque dance ensemble.

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