History of the Wildcat Stadium

November 21, 2023


Photo Submitted

An aerial photo taken of the brand new Dallastown High School football stadium taken in 1959.

In 1958, Dallastown finished construction of a new secondary campus. This included the current high school and the stadium, which at the time was little more than a dirt track, a grass field, and one section of concrete bleachers. 

That original section of seating from ‘58 held up well for its age, but was long overdue for renovation. 

According to Superintendent Dr. Doll, there were areas where the bricks were crumbling, there was leaking in the press box, and much of the stadium required updates from lighting to hand rails to bathrooms.

Still, it was in some ways the center of the community.

“During my HS years- our social lives revolves around sporting events at school. I think we went to every football game and track meet!” says Linda Thomas (Class of  ’65).

Even though time has passed, high school social lives may not have not changed drastically; many students still attend sporting events to socialize with peers, teachers, and friends.

Before the stadium was built, Dallastown athletes would compete and practice sports at different locations due to the lack of a stadium.

Though it was not a long-remaining issue, the stadium’s construction still affected the students’ daily routines and activities.

28 years later, in 1986, the stadium would undergo another round of significant renovations.

The stadium’s track received a drastic change from the “old-school” dirt lanes to cinder track lanes – suitable for all kinds of weather precautions.

Yet again, the construction had induced subtle modifications to the 1985-1986 school year. A moment of self-sacrificing surfaced from the class of 1986 concerning their graduation.

“It was 1986 and we had to graduate on the parking lot due to the stadium construction!” says an alumnus graduate of 1986.

The class of ’86 experienced a different graduation, though they had to graduate in a parking lot – the ceremony was able to remain on Dallastown grounds. Though the students did not expect this as their graduation, it was a memorable moment in the school’s history that earned the title of “the class that graduated in the parking lot.”

2012 began the active campaign led by the Dallastown Area Educational Foundation to replace the obsolete stadium field with artificial turf.

With the efforts of artificial turf, the field would gain a reduced amount of maintenance yearly. It proves to be weather-proofed and captures an environmental-friendly appeal, as well as benefiting athletics.

Dallastown High School officially broke ground on June 9, 2014. With a set goal, the Dallastown Area School Board of Directors met the amount and raised over $510,000.

The field installation was completed by August 2014 and earned the name “The American Legion Field” courtesy of the great support from The American Legion Dallastown Post 605.

As of late, the Dallastown district is anticipating renovations to the high school stadium once again.

The 2022-2023 school year is integrating the construction of the stadium with the daily basis of things. Complete renovations will not be made, but the focal point is that the administration is working towards an ADA-accessible and safer environment.

“I will NOT miss those steps !! As a teen, I could run up them. As an older adult- no rails, uneven steps- they were a challenge!!” says the same alumnus graduate of 1965.

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