Friday, Sept. 9–Wilton will officially break in its new artificial turf field at Wilton High School‘s Memorial Stadium today, as two WHS varsity sports teams will see league action at Fujitani Field, following a ceremonial ribbon cutting in the afternoon.
The artificial turf was installed over the summer, to the tune of $650,000–a price tag approved by Wilton voters as a capital bonding project at last May’s Annual Town Meeting and Vote. The field uses an organic fill that is a mixture of primarily coconut husk and other materials.
Several town and school officials are scheduled to be on the field for today’s ceremony at 3:30 p.m., including first selectman Lynne Vanderslice; Parks and Recreation Commission chair Sarah Gioffre; former Parks & Rec chair, and project lead Mark Ketley; Wilton Schools’ superintendent, Dr. Kevin Smith; WHS principal Dr. Robert O’Donnell; WHS athletic director Chris McDougal; former Parks & Rec commissioner Kevin O’Brien; parks superintendent Doug Katz; and WHS varsity coaches Bruce Cunningham (football) and John Wiseman (lacrosse).
After the ribbon cutting, the girls varsity field hockey team will take the field to cross sticks with Ridgefield at 4 p.m.. Later in the evening, Wilton Warrior football has its season opener, facing off against Fairfield Warde High School, starting at 7 p.m.. Wilton varsity cheerleaders and the WHS marching band will also get to show their Warrior pride, as will participants in the Wilton Youth Football and Cheer program for that organization’s Youth Night.
The WHS Cheerleaders are also holding their annual “Stuff the Bus” food drive to help restock the shelves of the Wilton Food Pantry. A school bus will be parked in the Cider Mill School parking lot close to the stadium entrance walkway, at 5 p.m.. Spectators are asked to bring food donations and dry goods, including paper goods, detergent and personal care items to donate.
Update: At 6:30 p.m. there will be a memorial ceremony to honor former WHS football coach, Tom Fujitani, who passed away earlier in 2016. As head coach of the Warriors from 1969 to 2000, Fujitani’s 32-year record was 163-147-0, including two state championships and an FCIAC title. A commemorative stone and plaque will be placed in the Circle of Honor at the south end of the field bearing his name.