NEENAH (NBC 26) — This Friday night will be the last time Neenah Rocket fans take to Rocket Stadium for the regular season to watch the current varsity team.
Varsity football has been played at Rocket Stadium since the early 1980s. Steve Jung, the current head coach of the Rockets, played at Rocket Stadium himself.
“I remember all my friends I played with and all those great times that we had together,” said Steve Jung, Neenah football head coach, "I remember a lot of the games that were really highly competitive and intense."
After decades of games, it's the end of one era and the beginning of another.
The new high school facilities will be ready for the 2023 school year, and the middle school will move to the current high school.
Plans for the new stadium are bigger and brighter than the last.
“Well, certainly it passes the eye test. It really is a beautiful stadium,” said Jung.
Players and coaches are all excited for one thing in particular…
“...It has turf...,” said Jung.
“...Playing on turf...,” said Evan Vanevenhoven, 10th-grade quarterback.
“...There’s the turf field in general...,” said Nate Cleveland, 11th-grade center.
“...Turf is nice...,” said Luke Keller, 11th-grade tight end.
For the coach and former player, Rocket Stadium means something to him on and off the field.
“It’s been fun to have played here and then to have coached all four of my children on the same field and watch them go through the highs and lows that I experienced when I was playing,” said Jung.
Though it could be the last varsity game held at Rocket Stadium, the eyes of Neenah football aren't on next season, but on the next game.
“We haven’t really like planned or thought about what it’s going to be like next year because we’ve just been focused on winning week after week,” said Keller.
Players are looking forward to one last game at the current stadium.
“We just gotta keep working hard… that’s our advantage is working hard,” said Cleveland.
The Rockets will take on Kaukauna at 7 p.m. this Friday at Rocket Stadium.