So rumor has it Trinity Mother Francis Rose Stadium (or better known as just Rose Stadium) is getting new turf. Really, this may not seem like a big deal to most people but when you stop and think of the some of the big named athletes who played on the old stomping grounds, perhaps the historical significance will start to settle in a little bit.
The stadium holds a capacity of 14,000 fans and serves as home stadium to the John Tyler Lions, Robert E. Lee Red Raiders and the Tyler Junior College Apaches.
Fans have developed fond memories at the stadium, like watching the Red Raiders dominate their way to a state championship in 2004, or the Lions 10 years prior to that. If you go further back, you might remember Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell and his trunk-sized thighs* running over defenses and anybody and everybody in his way. Yeah, it’s safe to say the Tyler Rose left his mark in that stadium in more ways than one, actually probably several hundred ways.
Putting in new turf would also require tearing out the track which is also named after the Heisman Trophy winner and many Tylerites were quick to show their disapproval.
At any rate, as big of an historical figure as Campbell is to the city and the stadium, others have written their names in the history books under the Rose Stadium lights.
Past and present NFL players who played their home games at rose Stadium include Matt Flynn, Aaron Ross, Gary Baxter (hey, he was a good high school player.), Kendall Hunter, Robert Ferguson and more.
Then there are guys who played away games there, guys like Matthew Stafford, Adrian Peterson, Josh McCown, Luke McCown and others.
Regardless of what happens at Rose Stadium; new or old turf, the memories and the history will still be there. Regardless, new grass and soil has come and gone, as have new athletes. Instead of saying goodbye to history, embrace it but also enjoy watching new history be made. Go out to Rose Stadium and let it unfold before your very eyes. That way, as history unfolds, many years from now, you can tell your kids and grand-kids you saw their favorite athlete when he was only in high school.
Just think of how much you’d be kicking yourself if you turned down a chance to see Adrian Peterson in high school.
*Side note: John Madden once said, “From the waste down, Earl Campbell has the biggest legs I have ever seen.” Thanks John.