Fightin' Indian Football to utilize Cook Field more for practice

Student athletes taking part in summer workouts at Jacksonville High School  are pictured last week at Cook Field. The facility will host at least 50-percent of the Tribe's practice sessions this fall.

For decades Happy Valley has served as the training grounds for the Jacksonville High School football teams.

According to Tribe head football coach Wayne Coleman, the team will be using Happy Valley considerably less this season, and most likely in subsequent years as well.

Cook Field, located on the northwest corner of the high school campus, will see more action as the Indians' training complex, due to it having an artificial playing surface — the Historic Tomato Bowl now features artificial turf for the first time.

Afterall, it only makes sense to practice on the same type of surface that the team will be playing on when Friday night rolls around.

“We will be practicing at Cook Field about half of the time now,” Coleman said. “It is so much warmer on the turf, so we will try to balance it out.”

All of the Indians' games will be played on synthetic fields this season.

The Tribe's road games include trips to Wildcat Stadium in Palestine, Dragon Stadium in Nacogdoches, Pirate Stadium in Longview and Bobcat Stadium in Hallsville.

The Tomato Bowl refurbishment project bolstered seating capacity to 8,383, making the Indians' home facility the second largest in District 9-5A-II (according to data supplied by TexasBob.com). Only Marshall's Maverick Stadium has a larger seating capacity (9,580).

Bobcat Stadium in Hallsville checks in close behind the Tomato Bowl, offering seating for 8,000.

 

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