The football Patriots beat Manassas Park 26-21 to snap a 10-game losing streak. The honor of scoring the first touchdown on the new field went to Park View quarterback Chase Jefferson, who ran 67 yards for a score with 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
“I tell my teaching staff, the parents and the students that the sports field is an extension of the classroom,” Park View High School Principal Kirk Dolson told a full house at a dedication ceremony prior to the game. “I gotta say, this is a pretty awesome classroom.”
The synthetic turf field was installed as the result of a $100,000 grant from the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, a $100,000 grant from the NFL and $800,000 from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. The School Board expedited the process by moving the turf installation to the top of its construction projects.
“Tonight marks the culmination of a project between a premier business partner, the Board of Supervisors and the School Board,” Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Dr. Eric Williams told the crowd. “We are so thrilled to see this come to fruition.”
Sterling District School Board member Brenda Sheridan thanked Redskins owner Daniel Snyder for funding the initial grant that got the field project going. “To many, Daniel Snyder is just a name in the news or a face on TV. For us at Park View, he is a neighbor; not only a neighbor, but a neighbor who cares.”
She also stated a problem that will never befall the Patriots again because of the all-weather turf. “Rest assured, Park View will never ever again play their homecoming game on someone else’s field.”
“The Redskins have been a great partner for Loudoun County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York. “They’ve not only done great things on the field, but they do a lot of great things off the field. This is a result of the good work that they do in the community.”
“Hello neighbors!” Redskins President Bruce Allen told the assembled “Patriot Nation.”
“The Washington Redskins and our Charitable Foundation are very proud to be your neighbors; to be able to help out and build this great field for the…students of Park View High School. It makes us very proud.”
Larry Michael, the voice of the Redskins emceed the brief dedication ceremony, and uttered some words he never thought he’d say. “Any Patriot fans here tonight? It feels a little weird for me to say that, but it feels real good.”
Former Park View Principal Ginger Minshew walked with the Patriot captains to present the game ball prior to the coin toss, which the Patriots won. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held featuring all the athletic teams that will use the renovated field.
Prior to the game, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation held a “Play 60” event for hundreds of Sterling-area children on the new field. This event was overseen by Jane Rodgers, the executive director of the Charitable Foundation; Allie Pisching, the director of community and charitable programs for the Redskins; and Emily King, the team’s coordinator of community and charitable programs.
Rodgers was instrumental in getting the grants from the Redskins and the NFL.
Fire House Subs of Sterling (owned by Marc Engelking); Joe’s Pizzaria of Sterling (owner Fareed Eways); Sam’s Club of Sterling; Walmart of Sterling; and Telos CEO John Wood donated food and drink for those who participated in the Play 60 event.
Also attending the dedication were School Board members Tom Reed (At-Large) and Debbie Rose (Algonkian District) and Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio.