Elyria community leaves with lifted spirits despite loss to Avon Lake

Elyria fan amped for 2018 season in new Ely Stadium
Welcome to the new and improved Ely Stadium. (Source: WOIO)
Welcome to the new and improved Ely Stadium. (Source: WOIO)

ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) - These are exciting times for the Elyria Pioneers, for the first time in 90 years the football team had a new place to call home.

The team has had their struggles in the past, but they're leaving that behind, in hopes for a bright future.

Old Ely Stadium was demolished in 2017. Worn down with outdated locker rooms and safety hazards, the change was simply a necessity.

The 2018 Pioneers were rewarded with luxury.

The new state-of-the-art venue is a 15,000-square-foot field house, with locker rooms, a training room, weight room and band storage.

There was also a huge video screen for fans, and a new scoreboard equipped with the latest in LED technology.

The community pulled out all the stops for the project, and fans couldn't wait to show off their school pride.

The class of 1968 was in attendance for the game, celebrating 50 years of friendship at the new field.

Elyria alum, Pat Kershaw, was one of the attendees happy to see the improvements in the city.

"Its amazing to watch the city come together like this," Kershaw said, "When you have upgraded stadiums and facilities it gives everyone a boost."

The squad certainly had a boost early on.

But costly turnovers hurt the squad early, at half, the Avon Lake Shoreman led 28-0.

Early in the fourth quarter Elyria got they're first touchdown of the year off an 85-yard heave.

The big play just wasn't enough, the Pioneers fell 42-15, but fans still left with their heads up high, hoping for a turnaround.

It turned out to be a loss for the team, but a major win for the community.

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