Open letter of support for Gilpin's Fighting Eagles Stadium and Track Facility

Coach Ball support letter for gilpin county school
Gilpin Football and Track Rendering 


Craig S. Ball, Head Football and Track Coach
c/o Gilpin County RE-1 School
10595 Highway 119
Black Hawk, CO 80422

October 8, 2017

Re: Support letter for Fighting Eagles Stadium and Track Facility

Dear Reviewer:

I am writing this letter in support of the project to establish the Fighting Eagles Stadium and Track Facility at Gilpin County School. I serve as the Head Football and Track Coach for the varsity teams and also work as the technology teacher at the school. There are a variety of reasons why this facility would be of particular benefit to our students.

Currently, our field is composed of natural grass, which poses some difficulties in light of our elevation at 9,000 feet. The cool weather and short growing season make it difficult to maintain the turf on the field. Our mountainous landscape is rocky, with unfertile soil and harsh, intense winds. Painting the field is likewise problematic, given the frequency of snow and precipitation in the region. Also, the rough ground creates a hazard for our players, who often suffer multiple lacerations from dirt and rocks in the field. Due to the mountainous terrain, there is a lack of flat areas to utilize...we are currently using the game field as our practice field for both the High School and Middle School football teams. The double duty puts added stress on the surface. The sidelines are also difficult to maintain; we currently provide a temporary solution of mulch to try to mitigate the issues with mud and water near the bleachers and concession stand. A permanent grounding in the areas surrounding the field would make the facility much safer and more navigable for disabled and elderly spectators. Artificial turf is a necessity for the rocky mountain landscape.

The investment in the excavation has been completed...including our planned expansion for growth to 11-man ball in upcoming years. We already have excavated space devoted to an area for shot put, discus, and long jump. We intend to build facilities to provide a safe location for filming and game announcing. Currently, the excavated area presents a liability and hazard for our school, since minors have been attempting to climb up the rock face. We need to secure this area as well. Given the frequent lightning storms in our area, a secure field house with public restroom facilities is needed for spectators--particularly for those with disabilities. We are not currently in compliance with regulations for disabled accessibility.

A primary goal is to build a track. Our track team has continued to grow and expand, with our first runner going to state this past spring. We have a banner in the gymnasium for track, but this banner has remained empty. Part of the lack of prior development of our track team came from the fact that we lacked a track on which to practice. Our runners must travel about 30 minutes to get to a track facility, which is a hardship and liability with icy mountain roads. Also, we have been unable to host any track meets due to the lack of facilities. By building the track program, there is a direct beneficial impact on our football program, since speed, agility, and strength are all essential traits of successful teams. The track could also provide useful training for our basketball and baseball teams.

One of the great advantages of the improvements proposed for the Fighting Eagles Stadium will be the permanent lighting. On August 9th, 2017, CHSAA adopted a new resolution emphasizing Friday nights are the official night for high school football in Colorado. Currently, we do not have permanent lighting for our field, which requires us to access costly and impractical temporary lighting devices when evening games are scheduled and play all other games on Saturday afternoons. Friday night football games are a big draw for spectators, and it is well known that community support drives passion, commitment, and excellence for a football program.

In sum, the proposed changes include the development of an official track, an artificial turf field, permanent lighting for night games, facilities for the field house, public restrooms, and re-surfacing of the spectator areas and parking lots. These advancements would serve to sharpen our teams, provide safety and handicap accessibility for the public and the students, and allow our student-athletes to develop to their fullest potential.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional details regarding these requests.

Craig S. Ball
Head Football and Track Coach
Gilpin County School
Gilpin Football Web Site



30 comments:

  1. I am a 12th grade and I support this new facility because this is something our school has needed for a long time.

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  2. I am a ninth grader at Gilpin County High School. I fully support for the building of the Eagle Stadium because I am a football and track athlete. I feel like this advancement will benefit our sports district tremendously.

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  3. I am a 9th grader and I'm in support of the new facility. This is because I play football and permanent lighting would make the games a lot better and increase the viewers.

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  4. I am in 12th grade at Gilpin and I am in full support of the new facility, as everything else in our school is up to par with the highest standards in school facilities, except our field. This is something the students and community could very much use.

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  5. I am a 8th grader and I support the new field and track because I like to run.

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  6. I am a 8th grader and I support the new field and track because I play football.

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  7. I am a 7th grader and I support this new facility because it is very difficult to calculate a mile on the football field, or any running distance for that matter. Not only will it be ten times nicer for football and track players, but it will bring in money for the school because will host meets most likely with concessions.

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  8. I am a seventh grader and I support the stadium, because there would be improvements and new parts will be added.

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  9. I am a 7th grader at Gilpin and I support the new track and football field because our track team needs a space to practice so we don't have to travel to another school to practice on a track.

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  10. I support the ne field because am playing track

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  11. I am a 7th grader and I really don't care because i don't do sports.

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  12. im a 9th grader and im at gilpin county school and i support it because it will be good for other people

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  13. I'm a 6th grader at gilpin county and I support the new football field and track because It is important for the track people to actually not drive 40 minutes to do track because then they have a hour to play then to get back.Also A new football field would be easier to play on and not much mud.

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  14. I am a 7th grader that think the money should go to something else like better lunches and breakfasts. And maybe evan a snack. at 2:00.

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  15. I am a 6th grader and I support the new football field and track i think that it would help because it would be better to play on and it would look good.

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  16. I'm A 6th grader and I support the new football field because its a great way to show the appreciation and get more people to be athletic

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  17. I am a 7th grader in i first off i agree with the stadium there would be more seating and it would be easier without the mud on the feild. the traveling to another track would not be most likely.

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  18. Im a 8th and I support the new track and football field because people will leave me alone

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  19. im supporting the new football field because it would be good for the players and audience

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  20. I'm a 12th grader and I believe the school should get this grant in order to allow my fellow students the ability to get more out of their sports activities. Currently my sister and her track team run throughout our school halls in order to prepare them for the season. Not only does this disrupt certain after school conferences but also doesn't give them the best quality practice that they deserve. As for the football team and field I believe it's necessary in order for them to feel more confident in themselves which is an aid in school work and team work. If the school got the grant and was able to finish their dream track and football field it would benefit the many students that come after me. I may not experience it but at least every other deserving student would be able to get the most out of their high school careers.

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  21. I'm a senior at Gilpin County Highschool and i support the field and new facility's. Last year I went to state in track without being able to practice on a track and it would've been very beneficial to my season if I could practice on a track

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    1. I am a senior at Gilpin County High school and I believe that the new field, track and included facilities are necessary to the development of the school, their sports program, and community unity. A proper facility would give athletes the ability to reach their full potential, and would give the community opportunities to draw together in support for the teams.

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  22. I'm a senior at Gilpin County High School and I believe that our school should receive this grant in order for fellow students to get the best experience out of their sports. For years our track team has partnered with Clear Creek which has a great facility for their track and football programs. Students who run track or play football never get the best out of our facility we have now because have no functioning track to practice on. I may not experience this stadium first hand but other students in the future can get best out what this can cause.

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  23. Im a sophmore at Gilpin County School and I believe we should have this field and track at our school because it will allow track to practice on a reel track and will allow football team to have a field that is not just rock solid dirt.

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  24. I am a Sophomore at Gilpin County High school, and i believe that we should get this grant because it will improve both safety and performance of all sports that use this new field. it will open new opportunities for the school to provide Track for the students here. the football team can use the track to train and we as a team would appreciate this very much.

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  25. I am a sophomore at Gilpin County High School, and I believe that we should get this grant because it will allow us as students to grow in the athletic community and grow as a school.

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  26. I am a junior at Gilpin County High School, I believe that this grant would improve the performance for sports. This grant would give us the opportunity to build a track with stadium, this can give us the option to hold track meets and give us a better more improved place to practise for track as well. The stadium seating will also be an improvement because we will have more space to sit as well as having a nice area to sit rather that old bleachers. Therefore I think this grant would do great things for our school and all the sports teams would appreciate it.

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  27. Hi there! I'm a senior at Gilpin County School and I believe that this grant for a new football field and track would be amazing! I think that it would promote a better school community. It would encourage students and community members to come to the games and meets and engage in school spirit. I wish that I could've had a football stadium and track. I love being part of school activities and I think that this stadium would've made games a lot more fun because having it be brand new and nicer, school spirit and cheering would be more intense. It would've been nice to have a track to practice on. I do believe that times were slower because we didn't have an actual track to practice on, so it when it came to the meets, we were unfamiliar with our surroundings and not as prepared. In addition, the football field we currently have can be potentially hazardous. When it snows and rains, the field gets extremely muddy and players are more prone to slip and injure themselves. Not only do I view this new football stadium as a benefit for the school itself, but also for the players, the student body, and even the community.

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  28. I am not a student but am aware of Gilpin County. In a community where the world seems to revolve around gaming and the plethora of casinos and temporary visitors it becomes all the more important to keep the community together. Friday night football is definitely an example of community. The benefit of the refurbished field and track facilities for this community should not be understated. Gilpin County is unique in that it would be easy to loose its sense of community. This is particularly for the children who can get lost in what has become a 21 or over casino based county. Go Eagles.

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