New Home Same Vibes


Paul Dennis field is a place that is full of both infamy and prosperity. Many careers have started and ended at the field where we gather under the Friday Night Lights to watch our Cowboys go into battle. This field has raised various individuals such as NFL stars, other Division 1 athletes, and yes you guessed it, a President.  

Bordering the green is the track that has raised bright eyed middle track runners into hard nosed high school running warriors.  The track that some would remember riding the bus to and competing in field day events during elementary school.

Paul Dennis Field has raised many prosperous athletes throughout the years. but a lot of years can leave lots of marks on a field.

No matter what the level of competition we can all agree that there were definitely traces of blood, sweat, and tears that were shed on that track. Some athletes prospered beyond the ranks of middle school and high school track, regardless, that track has taken many souls in its’ years. The value of Ken Russell track and Paul Dennis field can be summed up in three words, prosperity, strength, and success. 

Will Burton, Vice Principal and Athletic Director of Abilene High School, was able to provide some inside information on the project. He stated that the goal of the project is to use little to no tax money, the funding is to come from donations or a capital campaign. Burton described the situation as somewhat of a “pay to lease type of deal.” Mr. Burton specified that the orange turf rendition was only a mock up and not the final product. Although he did specify that there was to be a plan of having bleachers that border the entire track as opposed to the two separate stands we have right now. Burton said that the project would cost anywhere from 4.5-6 million dollars. 

School Board Member Jeff Bathurst shared some fragments of information regarding the project.  “The stadium facilities are outdated, the track needs resurfaced, and it needs to be done in a timely manner.” Bathurst mentioned that the facilities at Paul Dennis field haven’t been updated since the 1990’s. “The place we are in for the next few weeks is requesting for proposals from companies to bid the work done.” said Bathurst, “We will select a company soon for track and field work that has to be done and go from there.”  

Many participants of either the football and/or track teams can vouch for the need of the new locker rooms. One of those participants is Junior offensive and defensive lineman Brandon Parker. When asked to decribe the current facilities, Parker said, “to sum up the locker rooms, I’d say cramped is the best word I can use. A new atmosphere is believed to impact the play of the team, “I like the idea of the new renovations, and yes, I believe we could play better by being in a less congested pregame environment.”

A proposed mock up of the new design will be sent in and one will be chosen by the school board

Atmosphere is a big factor for friday night lights, and we’ll just have to give time for the impact to beset on our warriors. But no matter what color the turf, no matter what surface the track, we always have our legacy and the tenacity to complete any task. One thing is for sure though, the arrival of the new facilities will be subtle, but very well noticed.