When Kings Mountain kicks off its 2019 football season against arch-rival Burns in a few weeks, both teams will do so on brand new turf. If all goes as planned, that is.
Contractors are currently working on renovating the Kings Mountain football pitch, tennis courts and track. This is the first update to the facilities since the school opened in the mid-1960s.
The nearly $2 million overhaul is courtesy of the Kings Mountain Touchdown Club, a community organization that seeks ways to financially support all Mountaineer sports programs. The club has already paid for a new field and concession area for the baseball and football teams and improvements to the school’s weight room.
“Our facilities are just outdated and in disrepair, and our school system doesn’t receive adequate funding for this stuff,” said David Brinkley of the Touchdown Club. “We have a lot of people who get involved directly or indirectly in the community. We are very lucky to have such a supportive community here at Kings Mountain, and they are just amazing.
The updates will not only be a boon to the school, but will also go a long way to making Kings Mountain more attractive as a whole, Brinkley said.
“You might not think about it, but if a person is looking to move here, they want to see high school and where their kids will be. It’s going to make Kings Mountain overall more appealing to people,” he said.
Work on the sports facility began shortly after graduation in June, but was quickly forced to a halt when workers discovered that the pipes and drains responsible for managing the creek below the football pitch had failed. had collapsed and needed to be replaced.
This field is currently a large patch of exposed dirt with mounds of dirt stacked up where one of the end zones used to be. When completed, the new pitch will feature Astro Turf over traditional grass, allowing for better water runoff during the rainy months and a more enjoyable playing experience for school soccer and football teams. The school track, which surrounds the field, will be repaved and brought into compliance with NCHSSA regulations.
“Things have gone very well on the pitch so far,” said Matt Bridges, athletic director of Kings Mountain. “They say everything should be in place and done on the pitch about a week before the first game.”
While the football pitch should be completed by the start of the school year, work on the tennis courts is taking a little longer than expected.
The teams have already demolished the old courts and started work on a pair of new courts, each with 30 feet of spectator room between them and a new set of changing rooms and toilets, but as of Wednesday they were waiting for things be built and sent to the school before continuing.
“Right now they are building a retaining wall. Once it’s finished and delivered to school, they can start working again,” Bridges said.
Work on the tennis courts is expected to be completed in October. Meanwhile, the varsity women’s and junior teams will play their home games at Kings Mountain Middle School.
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337. Find him on Twitter @DustinatTheStar.