Cougar Graduation not in Cougar Nation

The Weston Ranch Sports Field has needed a revamp for many years. In general, students, teachers, and office members alike all agree that the football field was very outdated and suffered from neglect. From the old dirt track to a lumpy, uneven, and sometimes dangerous playing surface, the field was overdue for renovation.

The Field has been under construction since August of 2018, and, sadly, it seems that this year’s graduation will not commence on our home field. Mr. Davis, athletics director, told The Prowl, “They (construction workers) are currently doing their best, and we hope to have the field done by late March.” This news would not sound too worrisome to most, but one big issue is the rule set after the field has finished construction. The proclamation states that the stadium field may not be stepped upon within 90 days after installation has completed keeping the grass alive and healthy. The roots of the new grass must have time to set and strengthen before anyone may step across it. This policy is all set-in-place to keep the field from getting to the state it was pre-construction. Unfortunately, the completed project will keep any hopes of having Senior graduation in their home school town.

The school has begun searching for alternate locations to hold the event. The most prominent location on their radar is to host the graduation at the Stockton Arena, located in downtown Stockton. Lathrop High is also being considered as another alternative. Most of the students we have asked about how they feel having their graduation in the Arena don’t seem to be too bothered by the idea. The Arena is a vast and well-kept building with more than enough space to hold all the Senior students, their families, and school staff inside.  The big drawback for hosting graduation at the Stockton Arena is parking and a potential additional cost of paying for parking.

The construction of the field has cost the school district about 2 million dollars and is estimated to be completely ready by July of 2019. We currently do not know what has been keeping the construction from beginning in the past; however, an obviously disappointed Davis repeated, “The field was supposed to be ready by last summer.”

Although it is a necessary school improvement, it is sad for the class of 2019 and student-athletes alike who very much would have liked to have used the field this year. Current Cougars and future Cougars have something to be very excited about for the next school year.