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Hatchet Pride Project raising funds for Tomahawk football field, track upgrades Submitted: 01/21/2020
Tomahawk - A track and football field at one Lincoln County high school haven't seen many renovations in the past half-century. According to coach Andy Peissig, those facilities will change in a big way this summer.  "Athletic field, the track and the bleachers - they're all going to be replaced," said Peissig

Peissig says the push to renovate those facilities started three years ago. In 2017, the Tomahawk School District approved a four-year referendum that increased the district's revenue limit by $3 million a year. Peissig said officials within the district realized there would not be enough funding through the referendum to renovate the track and football field.

"So a group of community members got together and started talking about how we can make this a privately funded process and give our kids something they can be proud of," said Peissig. 

According to plans on the Hatchet Pride Project website, site improvements will manifest in four areas: the field, the track, the bleachers and the facility entrance. Peissig said all the upgrades share an important objective. 

"Ultimately the number one goal is to make safety for our spectators and our athletes a much higher priority," said Peissig. 

Through renovations starting in May, the field's existing grass will be replaced with turf to even the surface. A community multi-use field will also be created to the northeast of the field.

The wrap-around track will be relaid while the triple jump/long jump and pole vault areas will be relocated. 

The renovated bleachers will be able to seat 1,000 people and have space underneath for a concessions stand and additional storage. The new bleacher structure will also be code compliant and handicap accessible.

The proposed upgrades are set to cost $2.25 million; more than $1.9 million has come from large private donations. The Hatchet Pride Project now hopes the community will invest the remaining funds needed to keep the project entirely privately funded. 

New varsity football coach Sam Hernandez hopes the public will be as exited for the upgrades as his students.

"Well the kids are excited, they like the idea of playing on synthetic turf, they like the idea of playing on something new," said Herenadez.

With a new field under their feet, Hernandez said the Hatchets will better suited for next season and students will gain a greater sense of pride in their school and community.

"To be able to rival that experience that other schools have is something that makes our kids proud of Tomahawk and Proud to be hatchets," said Hernandez.

Renovations at Hatchet Field are expected wrap up in early September.

If the Hatchet Pride Project exceeds its financial goal, the school's softball field may also get an upgrade.

To donate, or just learn more about the project, visit the Hatchet Pride Project website

Written By: Stephen Goin

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