You don’t need to listen hard to hear that buzz coming from the extreme southwest corner of Hamilton County.
Like a high-tension wire, it’s being generated by the energy surrounding Taylor High School football.
Moving into a sparkling new stadium with a team returning several players who played key roles in last season’s first winning record since 1989 will do that.
Athletic director Larry Herges admitted that he’s been so caught up in putting finishing touches on the new stadium that he’s had trouble remembering players’ names.
“The excitement is unreal,” he said this summer.
The Yellowjackets’ junior varsity and freshman teams are scheduled to christen the new stadium, complete with artificial turf handed down from New Orleans’s Superdome, on Aug.30, but the varsity’s game against Clark Montessori on Sept. 5 will serve as the official grand opening.
“It’s a buzz,” said Herges, pointing out that he had 12,000 hits on his Twitter account – @taylorsportsad – the last week of May. “People are talking about it. Alumni have been calling and making plans to come. We’re making it a carnival-type atmosphere. It’s going to be a big weekend.”
The players feel it, said senior defensive back/wide receiver Zach Fulton, who feels obliged to help his teammates not get too caught up in the fervor.
“It’s high,” said Fulton, who led 6-4 Taylor with 17 receptions for 225 yards last season. “It’s extremely high around here. Everybody’s looking forward to the big season we’re going to have.
“The energy is so much higher. A lot of people lose track of what we’re here to accomplish. We have to step back and realize what we’re here trying to do.”
Seventh-year coach David Huffman was hoping to get his players on the new field for some practice sessions in July – part of the 10 days coaches are allowed to work with their teams before the official first day of practice, which was Aug. 1.
While Huffman is looking forward to playing in the new stadium, he admits that he’ll miss the old place, which was torn down after 80 years of use.
“We had somewhat of an advantage,” he said. “We were one of the few teams that played on grass, so the other teams had to deal with the elements, but we’re excited to be moving on and opening the new place. We tell the kids they had the privilege of shutting down one tradition and starting a new one.”
The 2,500-seat new stadium, for which Herges was hoping to sell the naming rights, will include many reminders of the old place, including dirt from the hill in one end zone that caught many an opponent off guard. The dirt will help form an area where the flagpole from the old high school will be placed, Herges said.
“Piping for it came from the original gravesite of (former president) William Henry Harrison,” Herges said.
Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, is buried in North Bend.
The stadium also will include a victory bell that will be placed in a stand built with bricks from the now-demolished high school, Herges said.
“It’s going to be really neat,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of brick left from the building and we’ve had a lot of discussions and a lot of great input from a lot of great people who want to preserve that.”
Aug. 29: At Lawrenceburg (IN), 7 p.m. (Skyline Crosstown Showdown)
Sept. 5: Vs. Clark Montessori
Sept. 12: Vs. Norwood
Sept. 19: At Deer Park, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26: Vs. Wyoming, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3: At Mariemont, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10: Vs. Finneytown, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17: At Madeira, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24: Vs. Reading, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31: At Indian Hill, 7 p.m.