The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


East’s new lights promise excitement and renewed school spirit for years to come

Katie Sullivan (’25)

For the first time in history, Cherry Hill High School East’s improved stadium will be equipped to host a home football game at night under their newly-installed lights. East announced that its football field renovations, including stadium lights and mas- sive, new bleachers will be complete in March. The long-awaited arrival of this field of dreams will deliver a much-improved high school experience for kids, generating excitement among the students, athletes and the community, promising to boost school spirit and bring out more fans.

After more than 50 years, the East community will finally have games under the bright, night lights and enough bleachers to accommodate almost the entire student body. When built in 1967, the plan for East football teams was to travel to the West side to play their home games at the Jonas C. Morris Stadium. The West Side location was originally built to be shared by East and West High Schools, but eventually East updated its practice field, which became its home field used for Saturday morning games.

Throughout the years, there have been many failed attempts for renovations or partial renovations that never quite equated to their field of dreams. Even after Glenn Foley led the team to winning the Group 4 State Championship in 1988, East had to wait 20 more years before earning a stadium to host varsity home games, which at the time included a scoreboard and bleachers that held only 380 students and fans.Eight years later, in 2016, East completed phase one of the athletic complex by upgrading to beautiful new turf fields, which ultimately fell short of expectations as well.

In comparison to nearby high schools, such as East- ern, Cherokee, Shawnee and Moorestown, East is the only one without a “real high-school football experience,” making it hard to understand why such a huge high school would lack a football stadium capable of hosting night events.

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Ellie Ferdas (’27) said, “It feels like I’m not living the American dream because all my friends that go to neighboring schools have Friday night games and have so much fun…these lights will create more opportunities for kids to socialize and create more spirit.”

East’s dream stadium is finally here.

“This project has been in the works for a long time, maybe six to eight years,” said Mr. Michael Beirao, Cherry Hill East and Cherry Hill West’s Athletic Director. “But now that we are doing it, the district wants to do it one time in the best way possible, and do it right.”

When asked for a status update, Beirao proudly replied, “We are on time, the bleachers came a week early, and we are aiming to be finished around March 20, so the field will be available for track practices.”

He explained that everything will be installed, but initially, there will still be some little things they will have to finish off such as the fencing and the hand- rails. By the time track meets come around, the fields should be all finished and ready to go.

In addition to the lights for night events, other en- hancements include a press box, WiFi, Hudl and secu- rity cameras and a desig- nated area for bathrooms and a concession stand. There will no longer be a fence; instead, there will be a wall that goes across the front that leads right to the bleachers. Of the 1,832 new bleachers, 1,532 of the seats will be on the home side with 300 on the visitors’ side. Also included in the seating, there will be a total of 19 wheelchair spaces which are 33 inches wide.

Running along the fence line, the new stadium will have a concrete pathway that goes around the field, which is ADA compliant and accessible. All of these new additions to the football stadium will draw more fans to games, leading to more opportunities for East.

“This spring, we will try to do a night game probably like a boys and girls lacrosse double header or maybe have all the kids out here to do something fun. With the addition of the lights, we will be able to provide an opportunity for the kids to do more things and use the school as a resource,” said Beirao. “It has been a chal- lenge not being able to do night events with a school of this size, but with the ad- dition of the lights, we are going to be able to have a lot more events for the kids to enjoy.”

Madison Greenwald (’27) said, “The lights and the football stadium, in general, will impact the school’s spirit in a positive way, causing more people to go to the football games, as not many fans attended them in previous years.”

The football team won’t be the only ones to benefit, as East would like to see the field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and track teams utilize the stadium too.

Beirao said, “The field will be a focal point for our school and we look to have events for the marching band and possibly movie nights, too.”

Most students are enthusiastic, but some athletes are nervous thinking about the influx of fans.

For example, Posie Radetich (’27) said, “I’m terrified to play lacrosse in front of a lot of people, but I’m excited about the new experience and it will help me get over my fear of the crowds.”

When asked about how the new stadium will impact the football team, Cole Haddock (’26) said, “The addition will definitely change East football because we’re usually playing in the morning at home and now the lights are giving us a better atmosphere to play in, which will get us more hype and excited for the game,” but added that, “no matter what, the team will always play their hardest for any game.”

Over the last two sea- sons, East football won 11 out of 20 games, which is a huge improvement over the previous two years’ 5-20 record. Moving in a positive direction, East Football Head Coach Mr. Tyler Drob said that with the promise of “Friday Night Lights” in the near future, “there is no reason for the 8th graders not to come to East.”

Up until now, he said, some of the middle-school football players may have picked “Catholic school or Cherry Hill West because they have had lights and a stadium forever.”

At the end of the day, Drob believes that, “the upgraded stadium will bring more support to the program and more alumni supporting the program,” especially because “it will be easy for them to come back to watch a Friday night game,” he said.

“This is a great school and it has got so many great things about it. A school this size, with this rich history, should have a stadium they can be proud of,” said Beirao.

Looking into the future, hopefully, the new stadium, along with the renewed energy and excitement of the student body, propels East’s football team to start winning championships again, just like they did 40 years ago, as well as increases school spirit for other sports.

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