EASTSIDE! EASTSIDE!

East High football home games return to Breese Stevens Field after 41 year hiatus

Scrimmage25On a pleasant Saturday evening earlier this month the Madison East High School football team was warming up on the gleaming year-old artificial turf of Breese Stevens Field. It was a first look not only for the players, but the coaches, boosters and fans as East has not had it’s own home field since it played it’s last home game in 1974.

For Quarterback Ruben Arndt, the lines on the field and the dimensions may be the same from last year when East played at Lussier Stadium, but this year will be different because the Purgolders are coming home when they host Madison West, the last team they played in this stadium 41 years ago.

“It’s really special to be back here…for the school. I remember as a kid I’d always go to Lussier [stadium] and watch my brother. It was always fun seeing the team but it never really felt like home…because we were out in front of Lafollette.” Arndt said during a break from drills.

“This really feels like home, right here a couple blocks from the high school and it’s old, it’s dusty and it’s great.”

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First East High Football Scrimmage at Breese Stevens Field in 40 years

East High Scrimmage - Breese Stevens Field

Friday Night Lights and East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.

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Friday Night Lights and East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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Players listen to the Umpire speak about which actions might draw infractions from the officials as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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A player attempts to haul in a pass during drills as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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Friday Night Lights and East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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A view not seen by East High fans in 40 years as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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This classic walled stadium will host East High football this fall beginning August 28, 2015.
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Friday Night Lights and East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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The tunnel even gets a test run as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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The tunnel even gets a test run as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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Starting Quarterback Rueben Arndt warms with his receivers during drills as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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Datrell Thompson is on JV this year but is already turning heads with his abilities at quarterback and running back. East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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The natural grass surface, in place since the stadium was built in 1927, was replaced with synthetic sports grass to increase durability and increase utilization by athletic teams and other events including concerts like the Avett Brothers who will play a show this October.
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Datrell Thompson prepares to throw a pass during drills as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
[img src=http://willystreetblog.com/wp/wp-content/flagallery/east-high-scrimmage-breese-stevens-field/thumbs/thumbs_scrimmage9.jpg]450A new press box was built in 2011 and a new sound system installed in 2014 as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
A new press box was built in 2011 and a new sound system installed in 2014 as East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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East High School Football returns to Breese Stevens Field, absent since 1975, with a scrimmage on August 8, 2015.
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4th Year East High Football Coach Steve Erato talks to his players prior to East High School Football scrimmage at Breese Stevens Field on August 8, 2015.
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Umpire Terry King was on the field for East High in 1974 for the last football game played by East at Breese Stevens Field, which they defeated 28-21.

 

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.

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New Push to Renovate East High Theater

Boosters hope to rally community to pressure district on facility priorities

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“The Aud” in the mid-1960s was a much larger venue, but was artificially reduced in both capacity and aesthetic. All photos courtesy: RaiseTheCurtain.org

There is a renewed push to thrust the renovation of East High’s Margaret Williams Theater back into the funding priorities of the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). Several years ago theater boosters launched an effort to restore a certain amount of grandeur to the auditorium that was completed in 1926, four years after the school was built.

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These Kids Are All Right

East High cultural series hopes to encourage more involvement by neighborhood

The Accidentals play Cargo Coffee on March 21, 2014.

The Accidentals play Cargo Coffee on March 21, 2014.

Jazz music wafting through a coffee shop on a Friday evening is not uncommon, nor impressive unless you were at Cargo Coffee Friday night (March 21). A spoken word performance usually garners an echoey smattering of applause, and maybe a spirited “Woo!” from a patron, but not this night.

It could have been their ages, but more likely it was the polished, inspired, and passionate performances of Madison East High Students that brought enthusiastic applause from supporters and customers during a fundraiser to help make healthy snacks available to students at East.

Hungry students is not just an East high problem but is leading some to raise a larger question: Are Near East Side neighborhoods too detached from East High students? Friday’s event at Cargo Coffee shows there is much young talent to appreciate and support.

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MNA Chili Dinner is Tonight!

Event raises fund for two $500 scholarships for East High Students

ChiliDin_2014The 23rd annual Marquette Neighborhood Association’s Chili Dinner to fund scholarships for East High School students is tonight (March 1) at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, 953 Jenifer Street.

A selection of veggie and meat chili , side dishes, desserts and beverages will be served for $10 ($6 for pre-teens) as you enjoy music from The Northwesterns.

This popular event brings out some of the best culinary creations from neighborhood and area restaurants such as Lazy Jane’s, The Weary Traveler, Smokin’ Cantina, Madison Sourdough, Eldorado Grill, The Batch Bakehouse and Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. Additional groceries provided by Jenifer St Market and coffee from Ground Zero will be served beginning at 5 p.m.

The Marquette Neighborhood Peat-Piper Scholarships honor friends Becky Peat and Margaret “Burkie” Piper, who were sophomores at Madison East High School in October 1991, when they were killed as they crossed East Washington Avenue in front of the school.

In the years following the crash the Peat-Piper Memorial Scholarship fund was set up to award $500 each year to graduating Madison East High students that reside in the Marquette neighborhood.

Learn more about the Peat-Piper Memorial Scholarship here

Peat-Piper Memorial Scholarships Presented

MNA President Michael Jacob poses with 2013 Peat-Piper Memorial Scholarship winners Huck Sachse-Hofheimer (right), and Rudy Hernandez.

MNA President Michael Jacob poses with 2013 Peat-Piper Memorial Scholarship winners Huck Sachse-Hofheimer (right), and Rudy Hernandez.

In October 1991 friends Becky Peat and Margaret “Burkie” Piper who were sophomores at Madison East High School were killed by a driver as they crossed East Washington Avenue in front of the school.

In the years following the crash the Peat-Piper Memorial Scholarship fund was set up to award $500 each year to Madison East High students.

The fund is administered by the Marquette Neighborhood Association and is funded partially through proceeds from MNA fundraisers.

This year four recipients were named, three from East and one from Shabazz City High School. Wednesday night (June 5) the awards were presented to the East students by MNA President Michael Jacob.

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East High Flight of Remembrance

East Aviation students given airplane rides by friends of deceased teacher

Madison East High Senior Charles before his flight with Bob. Charles took classes from Erik Anderson and will join the Navy this summer.

Madison East High Senior Charles Lombardo before his flight with Bob Gilbreath. Charles took aviation classes from the late Erik Anderson and will join the Navy this summer.

A promise of the departed was fulfilled by his friends Saturday (May 11) as students of Erik Anderson were given airplane rides at the Dane Country Regional Airport. Anderson taught Aviation classes at Madison East High School and music at Sherman Middle School for 11 years before he died suddenly in his classroom last September.

Known by students and colleagues alike as having the unique ability to connect and motivate the most troubled students, Anderson reveled in teaching Aviation at East and promised to take any student that was interested for a ride in his airplane, which he kept at his home on the Waunakee Airport.

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