New stadium opens at Clarksdale High School

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CLARKSDALE, Miss. — The Clarksdale High Wildcats will take on South Panola in football, and the game will be played in the Wildcats’ new stadium.

Voters passed an $8.5 million bond issue in 2017 that cleared the way for construction of this “state of the art” facility.

Henry Johnson, coach and athletic director, says his team will no longer have to practice and play games at 70-year-old Crumpton Field.

“It’s a off campus stadium. We had to bus our kids over there every day. A lot of pride in that stadium but it was just time to move on,” Johnson said.

Coach Johnson says the new football complex has everything.

“With a new fieldhouse, weight room, coach’s offices, dressing rooms, ticket booth concession stand,” Johnson said.

There’s also a new track, press box and jumbotron. All are ready to go for the Wildcats’ home opener against South Panola High School.

The only downside is the stadium’s grand opening comes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That means there won’t be 2,200 screaming fans in the stands.

“We’re only at 25% capacity, so we’re at about 650 people in this stadium tonight. Without a pandemic we’d pack this place out tonight,” Johnson said.

Social distancing will be enforced, face coverings must be worn, and there will be plenty of hand sanitizing stations.

Pandemic aside, Johnson expects the atmosphere to be electric.

“With the number 3 team coming in, a traditional rivalry, you know–Clarksdale, South Panola–in a new stadium. It doesn’t get any better, I don’t think,” Johnson said.

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