By CRAIG GARRETT
It’s like the old stone soup folk story, the locals placing rocks in a pot of water, and the soldiers adding carrots, cabbage and potatoes.
The same story in Arcadia is DeSoto High providing a beat-up football field, and locals donating sod, sand, time and other items to restore the gridiron to near perfect condition. Throw in donated meals for the football players before and after games, and there’s a stone soup comparison in Florida’s heartland community.
“It feels awesome,” Bulldog varsity football coach Bumper Hay said of the donations to rebuild the high school field at the Coach Richard Bowers Jr. Stadium.
The reconditioned DeSoto High football field is still rough looking—muddy sand and grass in bright green patches—but it should be ready for the team’s first home game on Aug. 23 versus Charlotte, Hay said. And along with a healthy playing surface, Hay plans to introduce old-style football that he and his teammates enjoyed as players in the ‘90s. “Win or lose,” he said, “you were beat up. We played tough, hard-nosed football.”