VVS to unveil new Sheveron Stadium with games, ribbon cutting

Published Oct 9, 2018 at 4:01pm

VERONA — Lights, cameras and plenty of action are on tap when the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill school district’s new multi-sport Sheveron Stadium makes its debut at the end of this week.

Varsity athletic events are scheduled for
Thursday through Saturday at the newly built
stadium behind VVS High School/Middle School off Route 31.

A Friday ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday will be followed by a 7 p.m. VVS football game against Oneida that will be telecast live on Spectrum Cable on Channel 1/Spectrum News in the local system.

Among other games scheduled there, all against neighboring rival Oneida, are girls soccer on Thursday plus boys soccer and girls field hockey on Saturday. There will be no admission charges for any of the Thursday-to-Saturday games, as part of the stadium opening activities.

To help with parking for the ribbon-cutting and the VVS-Oneida football game, a shuttle will be provided from nearby J.D. George Elementary School on Main Street in Verona where free parking will be available, VVS Athletic Director Randy Thomas said Friday.

Artificial turf, lights enabling night games, and a full digital scoreboard are among the new features for Sheveron Stadium, Thomas observed. The Sheveron name is a combination of Sherrill, Vernon, and Verona.

On the site of a former practice field, Sheveron Stadium is adjacent to the Sheveron Field stadium site that had been in daytime use for VVS football and other sports since the mid-1950s.

Sheveron Field will continue as a track-and-field facility plus for some modified sports programs; a new track including a steeplechase area is being installed, and the field has been newly sodded.

It also will host the Tri-Valley League cross-
country championship meet on Oct. 19 plus cross-country state championship events in 2020 and 2022, said Thomas. The cross-country course is next to Sheveron Field.

The work on the athletic facilities is part of an overall $27.2 million VVS district capital project through a public bonding referendum that was approved by district voters in December 2016. Some work at other VVS district schools also was part of the capital project.

VVS district Director of Student Programs and Communications Sondra Whalen noted “a big ‘thank-you’ to the community for supporting and investing in us.”

At the new Sheveron Stadium, whose grandstand has a seating capacity of about 600-700, Thomas said some temporary bleachers will be placed on the opposite side of the field for the VVS-Oneida football game Friday night. He estimated that would add about 300-400 more seats.

The new stadium was developed while the separate adjacent longtime facility underwent track-and-field upgrades as part of giving “as many students as possible the best possible opportunities,” commented Whalen. Sheveron Stadium includes field markings in various colors for sporting events including football, lacrosse, soccer and field hockey among them.

It also may provide students with opportunities beyond sports.

The VVS district “hopes to take advantage” of graphic design applications for students in helping to program and operate the stadium’s new digital scoreboard, observed Whalen. Such experiences can be valuable for college portfolios, she added.

Given the new stadium’s “neutral location” between Utica and Syracuse, Thomas mentioned, the VVS district is “hoping to draw some other sectional contests” from the area to be hosted at the facility.

Section III Athletics Executive Director John Rathbun is to be among the attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday, said Thomas. Among others will be VVS school district Superintendent Martha Group, Board of Education President Catherine Suttmeier, additional district officials, plus current and former VVS athletes and coaches.

The stadium project’s architect is King and King Architects of Syracuse, while the Smith contracting company of Syracuse is the general contractor, said Thomas.