School Board honors those who helped fix football field

OKEECHOBEE — During the Okeechobee County School board’s monthly meeting held on Jan. 16 the school board members, along with Brahman football coach Chris Branham and a few players from the team, thanked the companies and individuals involved in replacing the sod on the football field earlier this year.

From left to right are OHS principal Dylan Tedders, OHS sophomore Caleb Hartley, OHS junior Bracen Harvey, Cody Wojcieszak, Kimberly Wojcieszak, Stephen Wojciszak, Crystal Flynn, Hunter Flynn, Jordan Breeze, OHS senior Jajuan Cherry, Brahman coach Chris Branham and superintendent Ken Kentworthy. Photo by Richard Marion.

A mistake during the initial re-sodding over the summer looked like it would force the Brahman football team to relocate every home game for the 2017 school year. This would have a cascading effect on many other programs within Okeechobee High School, such as band and drama, who draw a large portion of their budget from concession sales at home games.

Most of the boys and girls soccer games occurring in December and January would also have had to have been relocated.

A coalition of sod companies and farms stepped up to help the high school replace the field in time to salvage at least part of the home football games this year. Thanks to the work of JW Turf, R & B Farms, King Ranch, and Quality Turf, the Brahmans only missed four of their home games in 2017. Their first home game, coincidentally, was the homecoming game against Bayside on Oct. 13. Okeechobee won 45-0.

“I’ll never be able to put into words what it meant to be able to play on that field this year,” said Branham while addressing the companies at the school board meeting. “We appreciate it so much.”

OHS senior Jajuan Cherry, who has committed to play at the University of South Florida, expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in the effort to fix the field.

“As a senior I’ve spent four years playing football on that field,” said Cherry. “I’m extremely grateful to have been able to spend my senior year on the same field. Thank you.”

Jordan Breeze, JW Turf’s director of sports, credited the collaboration that happened between all the farms involved as being the key to success.

“It really was a team job with everyone working together to get things done,” Breeze explained. “We were more than happy to help.”

On hand to receive certificates from the school board and Okeechobee County Schools superintendent Ken Kenworthy were Eric Flynn, Crystal Flynn, Stephen Wojcieszak, Kimberly Wojcieszak, and Cody Wojcieszak.

“We can’t thank all of you enough,” said Mr. Kentworthy. “You really bailed us out and we appreciate it.”

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