By Andrew Glover
COYLE, Okla. —
For the first time in Coyle school history, the whole student body was able to fit on one side of the gymnasium. The whole student body gathered Wednesday in the gymnasium to celebrate the completion of Coyle’s new gymnasium, football field and softball field at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We are really proud that it’s done and we were able to do the ceremony and kick things off this year,” superintendent and boys basketball coach Josh Sumrall said. “Like I said the last two years, it’s a tribute to our community for getting the bond issue passed and seeing the needs of our school district.”
Coyle’s old gymnasium could only seat more than 300 people. The new gym can hold about 1,100. Sumrall made sure to recognize the people who helped make the project possible — the community.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the people who voted for this,” Sumrall said.
Sixth-graders Dayja Hurst and Dawson Price and seniors Ryan Weathers and Taren Aska each got to cut the ribbon with the rest of student body cheering in excitement.
After the ceremony, the students got to tour the new facilities which will hold locker rooms for both basketball teams and an officials’ locker room. In the lobby, the Bluejacket and Lady Jacket trophies and plaques will be on display.
On Friday, Coyle played its first game on its new football field and beat Covington-Douglas 40-0 in front of its first home crowd. Coach Shane Weathers said he was surprised with how quickly the field was completed.
“That (grass) was planted at the end of May and it just so happened we had a wet summer and we had that underground watering system. They came in and fertilized once a week,” Weathers said. “It really caught on and it looks like it’s been planted for years.”
Weathers said it was nice having their first home crowd and added his players were excited — maybe a little too much.
“We were hyped for the first game in Coyle,” Weathers said. “We had some penalties early because we were over agressive. Once we settled down we played really well.”
Sumrall said the community is pleased with how it turned out.
“I got a lot of positive feedback from community and fans,” Sumrall said. “They thought we spent their tax dollars and bond money sensibly.”
The softball team started playing on their field last spring during slow-pitch season. Coyle played its first fast-pitch game on Aug. 15 in a 12-8 victory over the Mulhall-Orlando Lady Panthers.
The Bluejackets and Lady Bluejackets play their first game in the new gymnasium Dec. 3 against Mulhall-Orlando.
“We are looking forward to getting in (the new gym) and getting started and letting the community enjoy some games in here,” Sumrall said.