A friendly but competitive exhibition game between rival Cochrane High and Bow Valley boys soccer teams will go in history as the first-ever game played on the new artificial turf at Cochrane High.
"It was fantastic, and we fill so fortunate," says Carolyn Mcleod, one of the Cobras soccer coaches. "We were the first game out on the field, so we're super excited about it. It's great to be at our school and to be having a few fans."
Grade 12 student Clay Grattidge, one of the Cobras captains, says it was great to have a chance to play on the field before he graduates in June.
"It's very exciting that we're the first ones to play on this field," he says. "I didn't know if it would be built in time but it's very cool. We feel privileged to be the first ones to play on this field."
Teammate and fellow captain Rylan Mason shares that excitement and is looking forward to the Rocky View boys soccer season that opens next week. The Cobras have a bye in Week One.
"I think this was a great way to start the season," says Mason. "I think we all played really well, both teams, and it was a fun day."
Bobcats coach Beth Schneberger says it was a cool experience for several reasons.
"I graduated from Cochrane High so it's really nice to see that it finally got a turf and the boys like playing on it."
She says it will be a fun but tough season and her team is looking forward to it.
Hot on the tail of yesterday afternoon's game is a girls' flag football tournament this afternoon, followed by one for ultimate frisbee on Saturday.
The ground was broken for the $2.5 million multi-purpose field last August. It will now give the tri-schools and the community more recreational opportunities. It is the second artificial turf in the community and comes several years after the Spray Lake Sawmills Legacy Sports Field was spearheaded at Bow Valley High School by the Cochrane Lions minor football association.
The field's grand opening will take place on June 17 and will be followed by a four-team football jamboree.