It’s almost hard to fathom that the 2014 high school football regular season comes to a close this weekend with playoffs going on across this great land.
Trisha Hoffman and I reached Day 11 of our awesome Sea to Shining Sea Road Trip that began October 29th and has now spanned eight states. We’re currently in Atlanta, Georgia for the wedding of Trisha’s youngest daughter Jane that will occur tomorrow. While today was a busy day before the wedding, I did manage to sneak-in a side trip to Marietta High School‘s Northcutt Stadium.
Northcutt is an impressive old-time facility that was built in 1940 and is currently undergoing an $11.3 million renovation that includes additional seating, new turf, widening the field, a new concession stand and lighting. As you can see from the photo, workers stripped the old turf from the field and rolled it up to begin the renovations that will be completed by next July. The stadium’s seating capacity will be increased from 5,263 seats to 6,088 seats, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
Before going any further, I’d like to congratulate Marrietta officials for deciding to stadium with natural grass, rather than switching to the all-to0-easy synthetic turf.
It’s not the first time that Northcutt has undergone a major facelift, in 1940 and 1941, the Marietta School District and the President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA) partnered to modernize the field with grading, the construction of the all-concrete home grandstands, installation of lights and a rectangular rock wall that surrounds the entire stadium. After the project was completed, the Marietta Daily Journal called the field the “finest in the state.”
The stadium’s field is named after French Johnson, who was the Blue Devils’ head coach for 17 seasons that included a 21 game win streak in the 1960’s, plus the school’s only state championship in 1967.
Marietta began playing football in 1902, finishing the 2014 season with an all-time record of 554-380-27 after its 38-35 win over Harrison Friday night, which puts the school among the Top 20 winningest programs in the state.
The Georgia High School Football Historians Association notes that the Blue Devils have had eight NFL players.