New Coach Brings His Old Stadium

When Stratford hired Mark Farriba from Prince Avenue Christian School last January, the school believed he would bring his winning experience with the GHSA Class A powerhouse to Macon.

What they didn’t expect was that the Eagles’ new head football coach would bring Prince Avenue’s stadium with him.

 According to Athletic Director Grady Smith, Farriba “had the vision together because Coach Farriba had made some similar changes at his old school, Prince Avenue, and wanted to do the same here.”

Smith said that when Farriba first arrived on campus last spring, he showed him a picture of the renovations at Prince Avenue. Smith agreed that Stratford’s stadium could use a similar facelift.

“The area hadn’t been improved in a while, and it was an eyesore to anyone who drove through the campus,” Smith said.

The centerpiece of the renovations is the grass terracing on the hillside near Peake Rd. In addition to expanding the stadium’s capacity, the terraces removed a source of anxiety for parents and staff, who worried about children falling down the steep slope. Other renovations include a formal entrance flanked by two brick columns and a concrete patio with picnic tables.

The marching band, which used to sit on the opposite end of the stands from the rest of the student body, was also moved next to the student section.

Farriba said the reasons behind the new project were simple, “to make the area look better and to create a good place to go and watch the game.”

The new terraced stadium seats already had new fans at the Eagles’ home opener against Pinewood Christian Academy.

The renovations began after school ended last spring. The goal was to be finished by late June or early July, but due to the heavy summer rains, the improvements to the terrace are still in progress. Smith said that the original plan was to terrace both the left and right sides of the stadium, and that he hopes to complete work on the hillside near the fieldhouse by next fall.

Although Smith said he could not provide the cost of the renovations, funding for the project was split evenly between the school and the Booster Club. Wimberly Treadwell, a Stratford alumna, designed the new terrace.

So far the changes have received positive reviews from students.

Junior Morgan Maier said she likes the new changes “because when winter comes it will be fun to sit with all my friends, with blankets and hot chocolate.”