News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Oct 4, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck
There can be no doubt now that the new facility has fully 'arrived'
Riverton High School sewed up a successful Homecoming week Saturday with the dance for RHS students that followed a fun five days of activity at school.
For the community, however, the culmination was Friday night's football game, the first Homecoming game not played at Tonkin Stadium in 75 years.
Game night at the new RHS football venue, Wolverine Field, was an unqualified success. A huge crowd packed the expanded grandstand, and many attending enjoyed the new concession area alongside. The band boomed out its state competition routine at halftime as did the RHS cheerleaders and dance team. The Homecoming royalty cruised by on ATVs (might want to find some 4-wheelers that don't have tops for next year so the kids can be seen better), and it sure helped that the Wolverines settled a lingering score with Buffalo in a dominating victory.
It has been an audition of sorts this season for the new field after last year's half here/half there format of the Riverton High School season. This is now the home of the Wolverines, and it is to the credit of Fremont County School District 25 and RHS that the attitude in presenting and preparing the facility has been far more than just love it or leave it. After two controversial ballot measures failed to provide funding for the "Cadillac" plan of stadium improvements, District 25 has moved methodically from problem area to problem area as funds have become available from year to year.
It is not the spectacular facility it would have been had the bond issue or the sales tax been passed, and it has not taken shape as quickly as it would have if voters had approved the ballot initiatives. But no one can claim anymore that it is simply a "cookie cutter" replica of half the other high school venues in Wyoming. It is ours, it is distinctive, and it is far more than simply sufficient.
Better yet, there are more improvements on the drawing board. The erector-set appearance of the main grandstand is to be improved with a rear enclosure, which should add some indoor storage capacity. There is more landscaping to be done. And who knows? If the Wolverines keep packing in the crowds like they have this year, there might be talk of further grandstand additions as well.
There is just one more home game at Wolverine Field this season -- the regular season, that is. If RHS keeps winning, we'll get to host at least one playoff game as well.
For the third time this fall, and the second week in a row, Wolverine Field was the place to be Friday night. We'll always have memories of the fun times, the unique setting, and the championship seasons at Tonkin Stadium, but there no longer can be any doubt that Wolverine Field is a fine facility for the program. It has arrived.