INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Alumni of Emmerich Manual High School on the south side of Indianapolis stepped up to fix the football stadium. The community raised $12,000 to make it nice before the season opener Friday.
Mark Bowell, a graduate of the Class of 1981, paid a visit to the football field a few weeks ago. He said he saw chipped paint, rotten wood and missing signs.
"Honestly, it was just not in what I would consider to be in acceptable conditions," Bowell said.
Bowell wanted to give back to his alma mater. He used to play for Emmerich Manual and the field is named after Ray Schultz, who was his coach.
"There is no more deserving person than Ray Schultz to have his name on this field," he said. "I just kind of felt like this is not acceptable."
A group of workers since Tuesday has been remodeling the concession stand, replacing the signs and painting portions of the stadium. It is possible because the community, mostly alumni, poured in donations.
"It is called red pride back at Manual and now we have that back," said Robert Orkman, the current football coach.
Orkman said he is incredibly grateful people still care about their school.
"Our kids stepping on that field and just having some respect and honor about where they are playing at," he said.
Some of the crew making that happen for the team also went to the high school. Bowell said they still plan to continue some of the work next week.
The season opener will be Friday night at 7. The team will have its biggest roster playing in the last few years.