Antioch High holds first graduation in new stadium

Antioch High 2015 graduates. photo by Luke Johnson

Antioch High 2015 graduates. photo by Luke Johnson

By Luke Johnson

Antioch High School used its contemporary, $7-million football field, Eells Stadium, for the first time for graduation, during its 61st annual commencement ceremony to graduate the Class of 2015 Friday, June 5.

I felt really honored,” Student Body President Sami Surges said about breaking in the new stadium. “We kinda set the tone for the rest of the years to come.”

A new format came with the new facility. The biggest one being the graduates had to exit the field before meeting with families and friends. This was to maintain the new surface and prevent holes from poking into the artificial turf. Also, chairs had to be modified and graduates’ footwear had to be monitored.

This school year marked the beginning of reconstruction under Measure B, approved in 2012, which granted AHS a $56.5-million bond to renovate and modernize the campus. Throughout the year, students had to avoid construction zones and forego a cafeteria.

Our football team played with no stadium. They were a road warrior team, literally. They didn’t one game at home,” Principal Louie Rocha said. “Yet, they were successful and went to the North Coast Section Playoffs. That’s just a tribute to our students. They overcame many numerous obstacles. The campus was closed in some areas due to construction all year. We had to use the auditorium as our entrance. But the students just adjusted, continued on and really excelled.”

When asked what their favorite memory from this year was, both Rocha and Surges immediately responded with the Powder Puff football game, where the Panthers defeated crosstown rival Deer Valley High School in overtime. It was the first event hosted in the new Eells Stadium.

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