ELKINS, W.Va. – After 84 years at Wimer Stadium, the Tigers of Elkins High School have found a new den to play in.
“We’ve played soccer up here since 2008,” said EHS athletic director, Ross Ware. “We plan on, with the transition, moving, bringing history with us up here. You know, memorializing Frank Wimer somehow, and some of our legends of the past.”
Wimer Stadium was unable to hold football games last year, and was officially closed in May as Randolph County celebrated the life of the Elkins Superfan.
The Tigers football team will now play their home games on the soccer field beside Elkins High School.
“This decision wasn’t made lightly Wimer. I mean, there’s a ton of history there,” said Ware. “But if you take the emotion out of it: next to the school, or away from the school – which one is safer for our students? So, next to the school is the way to go. … We felt at Elkins High School, and at the administrative office, that It’s a no brainer.”
Moving the team onto this field, and putting roughly 2,000 seats worth of bleachers in the ground, is Phase 1 of a three-phase plan to update and upgrade the current field at Elkins High.
“They plan to be done on September 24. We’re going to have 2,042 seats alone in one section with a press box on top. Phase One is, we got to have a place for people to sit,” Ware said. “Phase 2 going to be turf and track, and getting turf put down and replacing the track. And then, Phase 3 would be expanding, getting a fieldhouse, stuff like that. Facility building, basically, for all our teams.”
According to Ware. the 2,042 seats for spectators, along with roughly 100-seat section of bleachers for the band, will be be just shy of the attendance mark at Wimer Stadium. However, the field won’t be eligible to host playoff football games with that capacity.
More seats will be added in later phases, says Ware.
The bleachers and press box will be situated along the south sideline of the field, near Harper Road, which circles the high school.
According to Ware, putting down a turf playing surface will cost more than $600,000, and updating the track could be at least another $300,000.
The Tigers football team will play its first four games away from home this season, before opening the gridiron aspect of this field on October 1 versus Grafton.
That game and that day will begin a new chapter in the history of Elkins High School athletics, and Tigers football.