As construction takes place on Gamecock Stadium, Bates Memorial Stadium will serve as the home field for the New Brockton Gamecocks as the 2020 football season gets underway.
The longtime home of the Enterprise Wildcats, known affectionately as “The Hole,” is now owned by the City of Enterprise and primarily hosts youth football and junior high football games. In the past three years only one varsity football game has taken place in “The Hole” but this year that will change.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, construction began on Gamecock Stadium as the Coffee County School System is investing more than $1 million in renovating it with a new press box, new home bleachers, new ticket booths, new bathrooms and new concession stands.
“We knew that the chances of us getting to play (at home) when the season started was probably not going to happen,” New Brockton coach Zack Holmes said. “We’re really thankful to the City of Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department for letting us play there because that’s really a great venue.
“I think it’s important that our kids feel like they’re playing in their home stadium and if we were playing in another team’s stadium it would never feel like that. With Bates being a city stadium and a lot of our kids played rec league ball there it’s cool for them.”
In June, lightning also struck Gamecock Stadium, which fried the PA system and irrigation system. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise as New Brockton was already planning to play its first few games in “The Hole.”
“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” Holmes said. “If you look out there and see those trenches being dug up around the field, if we were getting ready to play here Aug. 24 that wouldn’t be good.
“It’s really cool that things kind of fell in place when it did. We weren’t planning on updating the irrigation or the PA system but now we had to. When it’s all said and done we’re going to have one of the nicest stadiums in the area, especially for a small school.”
According to Holmes, the current plan is for the renovations to be completed sometime in October, which means the Gamecocks will play three or four of its first four home games at Bates Memorial Stadium. Aug. 21 against Cottonwood, Sept. 11 against Daleville, Sept. 25 against W.S. Neal and possibly Oct. 2 against Slocomb could all be played at “The Hole.”
Holmes said that he’s excited to continue to see growth not only at NBHS but the town in general.
“I’m super jacked man,” Holmes excitedly said. “When we got here we knew the numbers were growing and we were probably going to be a (Class) 3A school but then things fell in place with the Ben E. Keith plant and a travel center now helping the community continue to grow.
“To see the Town of New Brockton grow and now our stadium is being renovated and the school is growing, it’s just a blessing to be here and having everything fall together. I think in five years when we see how our community has grown it will be neat to say we were a part of that in the beginning.”