Stadium opening gives Windermere High programs a home | Observer Preps
Deputy Scott Pine Community Park — home of the Windermere High off-campus stadium — opened last weekend in Horizon West.
| 12:30 p.m. February 14, 2018
There’s no place like home.
Now, after last weekend’s opening and dedication of Deputy Scott Pine Community Park, several programs for Windermere High have one.
The park, named for the Orange County Sheriff’s Officer killed in the line of duty in 2014, houses the stadium for Windermere High.
That makes it the new home to the first-year school’s football, soccer, lacrosse, flag football and track-and-field programs.
Although there are still plenty of details to work out regarding day-to-day and game-night operations, there is a sense of pride that is pervading Windermere athletic programs, thanks to the facility’s state-of-the-art synthetic-turf playing surface and rubberized track.
“There’s no doubt — it’s top of the line,” Windermere football coach and former athletic director Fred Priest said. “That facility is as good as you’re going to find. You can’t ask for anything better.”
Mike Grenci, who took over as the Wolverines’ athletic director when Priest became the football coach, said the turf field is second to none — locally and beyond.
“The turf is the best money can buy right now,” Grenci said. “It’s the exact same turf that is in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (where the Super Bowl was played).”
The synthetic playing surface is so advanced that athletes will have to be conscious of not compensating the way they normally would on turf, Priest said.
“The injuries you used to see on turf, you’re not going to see on this,” he said. “It reacts just like grass.”
With spring sports getting underway — Feb. 12 marks the first day of the regular season for track and field — Windermere track coach Jason Greer has had plenty of athletes seeking him out in the hallway asking when they can go break in their new facility.
“Everyday they ask me, ‘When are we getting down to the track?’” Greer said. “It’s an amazing training facility for our kids. … It’s going to be a great attribute to our program.”
Greer said the rubberized track is lined to be able to host any level of competition.
But Greer, who was present along with several of his athletes for the dedication ceremony Feb. 10, said it is also important that current and future Wolverines understand the legacy of the man for whom the park was named.
“First and foremost, we need to honor Deputy Scott Pine,” Greer said. “Our children need to be aware.”
The first home game at the new stadium will be a boys lacrosse game Feb. 20. The spring season will feature home games and meets for boys and girls lacrosse, flag football and track at the facility.
And on May 24, the Windermere football program will host Melbourne’s Holy Trinity Academy for its spring football game — the first home football game for the Wolverines after an inaugural season that featured all road games.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Priest said. “I think our whole community is going to come.”
No matter the sport, Windermere athletes such as Amaya Ugarte are ready and raring to go now that they have a home.
“We are very excited,” Ugarte said. “We’re ready to make a legacy here.”