Wellpinit high school excited to play on new premier football field, thanks to the Seahawks

WELLPINIT, Wash. — The town of Wellpinit has a population of less than 1,000 people. But come this fall, it’s going to be home to one of the premier football fields in all of Washington high school athletics.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I just came here, it was just like this,” said guard Uriah Tonasket. “It was just grass and it’s just crazy that our community has something like this now.”

For weeks, crews have been leveling out and placing field turf down in time for the upcoming season. For the seniors, it’s a bit of a surreal feeling seeing it for the first time.

“It’s crazy, like I didn’t think we were ever going to get a turf field, like I knew we talked about it a lot but never knew it would actually happen,” said Colin Hughes, who plays wide receiver and linebacker.

And it may not have happened if Head Coach Clark Pauls wasn’t looking through grants for field equipment, and that’s when he noticed the NFL’s Grassroots program, which helps revitalize playing fields for underserved communities.

“Worst case scenario we don’t get it and best case scenario we’ll have an amazing field for our students to play on,” Coach Pauls said.

After months of patiently waiting and hoping, the good news came in. The school was awarded $250,000 by the league and Seattle Seahawks for the new playing surface.

For these seniors, that means now more rolling in the mud and dealing with puddles on the field, which they viewed as a competitive advantage.

“We’re going to be faster, we’re going to get it down once we start practicing on it,” said quarterback Smokey Abrahamson.

“It sure is different it’s just like any other field,” Hughes said. “You just feel faster on it I guess.”

Not only will this give Wellpinit one of the more gorgeous settings in high school football, but it will also be a sense of pride in the local community when other teams come to visit.

“People are going to know where Wellpinit is now…other schools are going to want to play on it to, we already have, and we’re playing a double header I think in week two,” Hughes said.

The team will host their home opener on this yet to be named field on September 9.

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