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Westinghouse Academy unveils newly improved football field

Westinghouse Academy unveils newly improved football field
Westinghouse Academy unveils newly improved football field 02:00

HOMEWOOD, Pa. (KDKA) -- In Homewood on Friday, despite the pouring rain, dozens of people celebrated and cut a ribbon to officially open the new look to the old field at Westinghouse Academy.

"If this field could talk," said Pittsburgh's Mayor Ed Gainey, addressing the assembled crowd, "could you imagine the stories it would tell?"

This field has been at the school for decades and has seen many football state championship teams come and go, and all those teams that used the playing surface left their mark, not in a good way.

The renovation to 'The Graveyard,' as the field is known, has been underway since October 2023. And the chief reason for the change is safety for the athletes that use it.

"There were patches everywhere, there were holes everywhere," said Donta Green, the head football coach at Westinghouse Academy. "Actually, I think the conversation started when we were out here practicing, and a kid was running a route on the upper part of the field, and he stepped into a ditch and almost ripped his whole hip out of place. And he was out for probably a week and a half because of that."

Once the safety concerns were raised, the community got to work bringing in turf specialists from Penn State Extension.

"What I found was, the field was actually as hard as the blacktop in the parking lot," said PSU Extension Turf Expert Jeff Fowler. "It was safer to play in the parking lot than on the field."

Those Penn State turf experts then enlisted the help of the Steelers who donated ground-up sod and soil from their field from Acrisure Stadium to help. And after months of care, the dangerous and old became the sleek and new.

One person excited to get out and practice is Westinghouse junior and defensive line football standout, Nyxai Robinson.

"I can't wait to get on it," said Robinson. "We come back next week, and it is time to start our journey to the state championship."

Robinson won't have to wait long because this new field is good to go for practices and games, and with a little TLC and the right care, it will be good to go for years to come.

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