CASTROVILLE — The North Monterey County High Condors will debut their brand new all-weather football field and track for homecoming on Oct. 6 against the Pajaro Valley High Grizzlies.

Inclement weather in the winter and spring delayed the project but the school expects to have the field ready by the set date. The lights, concession stands and restrooms have all been completed and the base structures of the home and away stands have been laid down, too. The addition of the synthetic turf field and cutting-edge track are all that’s left.

The Condors have played Saturday afternoon games since the school’s inception in 1978 but the new field will allow the football team to play under the Friday night lights.

“It’s exciting for the kids and for the whole community,” said third-year head coach Sean Gomes. “I know several people that have been waiting for this for years…The kids will be excited but I hope that they’re not too excited that they forget how to play football.”

Gomes, who is in his second stint as the Condors’ head coach, has heard rumors that there will be a capacity crowd of a few thousand for the opener and that the school district has talked about the possibility of having a shuttle system for offsite parking in the heart of Castroville, which is just a couple of miles from the school’s campus.

“We’ll get a better feel once we get closer to the day,” Gomes said.

The completion of the project will bring an end to an arduous two-year process, which forced the football team to play all 10 of last season’s games on the road. The Condors went 2-8 in 2016 after starting the season with six straight losses.

Because of the delay, N.M.C. also had to move three home games this season to different sites.

Senior lineman Izzy Barragan can’t wait to have a place to finally call home.

“The field only motivates us more because we want to be ready when we finally get that chance to finally get on the field and finally play our first game on it,” he said. “Everyone has been working really hard this summer.”

When completed, the N.M.C. stadium will be unrecognizable. The old football field was universally considered one of the worst in the Monterey Bay and the dirt track was, at times, unusable for the school’s track and field team.

Senior defensive back Lupe Sanchez said he hopes the new field will create a buzz around the program, which has seen its numbers decline as of recent. He also said that this year’s team has a responsibility to the school to ring in the new field with a win.

“We’re not trying to lose in our first game,” Sanchez said. “We won’t be overwhelmed. We’re hungry. We’re trying to play well that game.”

Previous articleThird nurse in sex case extradited to Santa Cruz
Next articleSharon Dee Viloria


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here