Initiative underway to light John Sevier Soccer field

The Maryville soccer community, including students, parents, fans and business sponsors, are supporting an effort to light the soccer fields on the campus of John Sevier school.

“Funding is not available for this project from the district budget” said Richard Harbison, Facilities coordinator for the Maryville City Schools. “However, a considerable effort is underway to raise the funds to make this dream a reality. We are working with the coaching staff to make sure this effort includes input from the surrounding neighborhood, has a limited impact on residents and includes guidelines for authorized use.”

The soccer program (both girls and boys combined) at Maryville High School currently includes 15 home games throughout the entire school year. Based on preliminary guidelines the coaches have drafted, lights used for the games should be out by 9:30 p.m., as games typically conclude by 9 p.m. The boy’s team competes in the spring from mid-March until mid-May, and girl’s compete in fall from late August until late October.

Residents adjacent to the school campus were invited to two public meetings in the past two months. Concerns from residents were primarily about parking. In recent weeks a fence was erected to encourage parents, participants and fans to park in the school parking lot or in the spaces adjacent to Maryville Academy. Only coaches and referees will park near or on the field. Coaches estimate game attendance on average to be about 150 people, with the largest turnout around 500.

Stephanie Thompson, director of schools, said it is exciting for student athletes to have access to facilities that could improve their game, make them more competitive and improve the overall quality of the program. “It is even more exciting when parents and the community collaborate to fund projects that will benefit children for many years,” she said.

To make a donation, contact George Quarles, Bill Stooksbury or Steve Feather at Maryville High School.

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