The Jones Longhorns will christen a new stadium, and The Jones Journal will get back to its journalistic roots during the 2021 season.
The biggest excitement for the year will come from the brand new stadium. If you’ve peeked at the stadium from 4th Street in recent weeks, it might be hard to appreciate all the improvements that have been made. The Jones Journal got the opportunity to walk through the stadium with Superintendent Dr. Carl Johnson and High School Principal Mike Watkins, and we can’t wait for the community to check out the improvements.
The first thing to note is the capacity. The stadium will seat just under 2,500 for football games, almost double the capacity from the old stadium. There are wide handicap accessible ramps leading up the home bleachers. Twelve handicap accessible benches stretch across the home side that require no steps to access. The new stadium is up-to-date on ADA standards.
The stadium itself is visually appealing. A sturdy brick ticket booth and Kelly Green splashed throughout the stands make the stadium pop. The expanded press box stands tall above the field and will give coaches and media an unprecedented view of the Longhorns. While the stands will give Longhorn fans a comfortable seating to enjoy the game, the new turf will be a completely new experience. The white yard lines, hash marks and numbers looks great against the dark green turf. The end-zones are painted black with “JONES” on the north side and “LONGHORNS” on the south side with white letters and green borders. “TTHL” is painted along the home sidelines.
However, the crown jewel of the field is hands-down the “Oklahoma Longhorn” logo at midfield. The giant logo stretches 18 yards across the middle of the field. Pictures don’t quite do it justice. The Green Longhorn with the white Oklahoma against the new turf looks fantastic from the stands. The distinctly unique logo will certainly be a showcase on Friday night under the lights. Speaking of lights, we took our tour in the middle of the afternoon, but Dr. Johnson assures us fans will be impressed with the state of the art lighting system.
The turf used for the stadium is the top of the line turf, both in durability and safety. A rubber and sand base is held by helix shaped fibers that provide a steady and even field. The new field is tested to meet the highest safety protocols. To get an idea of the quality of the turf utilized, the turf that graces the field of Jones High School is the same turf used in the Sherman E. Smith Training Center and O’Brate stadium in Stillwater for Oklahoma State University. This will be a nicer field than many 6A programs in the State of Oklahoma.
“Our kids deserve this stadium to be full on Friday nights. This community needs to have that small town football experience” said Dr. Johnson during the tour. Mr. Watkins added that this stadium doesn’t belong to just the school district, but to the community. This amazing stadium is possible only because in 2019 the voters passed the bond election with an overwhelming 85% pass rate.
The Jones Journal will not be live streaming the games for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Jones Journal will still provide Social Media coverage during the game, great action photos of the game and articles and analysis after the game.
We will have more coverage as we lead up to the home opening on Friday August 27, 2021 as the Jones Longhorns host the Bethany Bronchos of Class 4A.