GREENVILLE — There were tents, grills, food, music and more. That was just before the game.
Fans from both Greenville and Belding arrived early and were ready for the annual rivalry between the two longtime rivals, with the buzz as big as a college football game.
By kickoff time, the stands were packed on both sides in purple and gold and black and orange. The concourse served as overfill or for those looking for a better line of sight across Greenville football’s newly built home — Legacy Field.
In the end, the opening night of varsity football at Legacy Field was a success for the host school in more ways then one. The fans in the stands enjoyed the atmosphere and amenities. On the field, the Yellow Jackets played a solid game of football enroute to a 43-12 victory over the Redskins.
“It was almost overwhelming. There was just so much going on,” Greenville Athletic Director Brian Zdanowski said. “We got everyone in and I don’t think there were any major glitches. All in all, it was a great night.”
Greenville fans Norm and Mary Ostrom enjoyed their time at the game.
“It was pretty nice. It was great,” Norm Ostrom said. “It was a great way to open the stadium. It was a fun game.”
They weren’t the only to have a good time at Legacy Field. Zdanowski heard nothing but compliments.
“Everyone liked the detail in the stadium and what we brought from the past and incorporated,” Zdanowski said. “They really appreciated the work we did for the kids.”
After the game, the Yellow Jackets marching band played the school’s fight song one final time. The fans were then treated to an outstanding fireworks display to celebrate both the new stadium and the team’s first win at Legacy Field and the 2012 season.
Near the gas-fueled bonfire pit, students sang and danced and ate pizza in celebration.
Fans slowly filed out of the stadium into a sea of cars. Many parked in the surrounding neighborhood and others walked from home.
School isn’t in session, but Legacy Field got a passing grade in every aspect of a high school football game.
Greenville’s next home game is Sept. 7 against Thornapple Kellogg. The night will be dedicated to the Greenville’s inaugural Hall of Fame class. The Redskins, meanwhile, will play Thursday, at their new facility, Rudness Field, against Lakewood.