It was the fall of 1974 and Terry King had hair down to his shoulders, was 18 years old and feeling great as he walked off field at Breese Stevens after defeating West High School 28-21. However it would be the last time East High would play football games at the 4,000-seat stadium until this year when Madison West will return for the home opener on August 28th.
King was reminiscing out loud to the 2015 East High squad Saturday night (August 8) as they prepared to scrimmage for the first time in four decades. This time Terry King wore the hat of an umpire and led a group of referees that would be monitoring the practice game as a warm-up for them and the players. The team will play another scrimmage in Kenosha next week before opening the season across town against Madison Memorial.
Fourth year Coach Steve Erato is excited to be playing at the stadium, a prospect that has been in the works for a year and it gained it’s own momentum as the City of Madison, East High and the community got behind.
“Just to be in your own facility and know it’s yours and say you’re going home to play and it’s truly a home game for us, that’s special for our kids and our players,” Erato said.
Breese Stevens was built in 1927 and hosted many athletic and other events over the years. The facility is owned by the Madison Parks Department and renovations were made in 2007 and 2009 to repair and upgrade the structure, locker rooms as well as a new press box in 2011 and sound system in 2014.
Last summer one of the final upgrades was installed, a $1.2 Million synthetic grass playing surface which Parks says will increase reliability and open the facility to a wider arrange of events including concert like the Avett Brothers who will play there in October.