With the 2019 prep football season in full swing, there’s 15 schools in Pasco County that play 11-man football and each one provides a unique experience for home games. From Anclote to Zephryhills, we take a closer look at each of the venues in Pasco County and give you brief insight on game day experiences at each stadium.
Bulldog Stadium at Zephryhills High School
From the pre-game tailgating to the boiled peanuts in the concession stands to the packed out home stands, Bulldog Stadium might top all of the other experiences when it comes to watching a game in Pasco County. When you arrive to the stadium, you might have to park in the grass across the street, but it’s well worth the short walk over. The locals usually come out in crowds to catch a high school football game in Zephryhills. The boiled peanuts are always a must if you’re going to watch the Bulldogs and before the game, there’s usually plenty of pickup trucks parked along the fence line waiting for the game to kickoff. For overall high school football, game day at Bulldog Stadium is a great overall experience.
Anclote Stadium at Anclote High School
Just minutes away from the Tarpon Springs’ Sponge Docks and less than a mile away from Anclote Beach, Anclote Stadium is a neat stadium to catch a high school football game at. If you’re able to grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants before watching the Sharks play, Anclote’s field is surrounded by forestry and visible in the background is the funnel from the local Duke Energy plant nearby. It’s a newer facility, but definitely a nice place to visit for a football game.
W.F. Edwards Stadium at Pasco High School
Likely the most historical stadium in Pasco County, as you walk into the venue and see the names of those who were on the Pirates’ 1992 Class 3A state championship team. From Troy Hambrick to Janarion Grant, this stadium has been home to the likes of some NFL talent and gives a great old school feel to high school football. The stadium sits almost on top of a hill, but from the cannon firing on touchdowns to the boiled peanuts over in the concession stands area, if you’re looking for a place to watch some high school football in Pasco County, W.F. Edwards Stadium is a must see for you.
John Benedetto Stadium at Land O’ Lakes High School
They call it ‘The Swamp’ to mimic the Florida Gators’ field over in Gainesville, but make no mistakes about it, this stadium does give off that kind of feel. Coming off a rainy night, this venue can give a swamp feel pretty quickly as it’s surrounded by marshy areas. Parking can become a little bit of an issue, as it extends to the front of the school so be prepared to walk a little bit. The stadium, though, provides a mix of old school with today’s feel for high school football. With the golf cart going out with the siren before the game, this stadium bearing the name of former head coach John Benedetto, has a great experience lined up for you on a Friday night.
Des Little Stadium at Gulf High School
Right off Madison Ave close to downtown New Port Richey, Des Little Stadium is one of the older stadiums in Pasco County but gives a great feel for high school football. Walking distance to the stadium is convenient, as the lot is right next to the home grand stands, Des Little is easily accessible and when filled to capacity, can provide one of the better atmospheres for football games. A trip to local downtown New Port Richey is also a must along the way.
Fivay High School isn’t quite a decade old, but the Falcons have already started to build up a little bit of tradition with their football program and game-day experience at Falcon Stadium. The field is located off State Road 52 and surrounded by shopping and restaurants, there’s plenty to do before and after the game. The home grand stands sit higher up, comparable to those of the older stadium variety and parking is easily accessible for those not looking to walk too far to get to the gate. Food at the concession stands are also a must if you’re attending a game at Fivay.
Mustang Stadium at JW Mitchell High School
Located right off of Little Road in Trinity, FL, Mustang Stadium has hosted games since 2001 and with the grand stands on the home side being recently re-done, Mitchell’s home games have always been a must-see if you’re in the area on a fall Friday night. With local shopping plazas popping up along Little Road and State Road 54, Mustang Stadium has post-game places to visit. For game-day experience, parking can become tight but the school offers numerous parking areas around the venue. Squeezed in between JW Mitchell High School and Seven Springs Middle School, Mustang Stadium is a cool venue to watch a game from.
High School Football in Florida
Coyote Stadium at Cypress Creek High School
This is the newest high school stadium to have been built in the area, as Coyote Stadium becomes the third one in the Wesley Chapel area. With banner flags flying at the top of the home grand stands and forestry on the away side of the stadium, the school has already started to give its own special feel to football on Friday nights. With the softball field right next to the football stadium, parking is in abundance right next to the sports complex and is within easy walking distance.
Jim Valentine Sports Complex at River Ridge High School
If you’re looking for getting a great view for a high school football game, Jim Valentine Sports Complex’s football Stadium would be the place for you. Though you may have to walk a good distance to get to the stadium, this venue provides a great Friday night experience. From the pre-game tailgating by fans to the student section’s ‘Purple Posse’, this stadium has just about everything except maybe a little bit closer parking to the stadium. If you’re attending a Mitchell-River Ridge game, get there early or you will be waiting for awhile.
Warriors Field at Zephryhills Christian Academy
Next to Bishop McLaughlin in terms of venue size, Warriors Field is also another smaller stadium to watch a high school football game at. The away side is a cramped area so if you’re coming to catch a game, arrive early to get yourself a good seat or standing spot. Though seating can become an issue, parking is accessible and within reasonable walking distance to the field. If you’re just looking to stand along the fence line to catch some good high school football, Warriors Field isn’t a bad place to catch a game.
By Andy Villamarzo PascoCountyFB Staff Writer
River Ridge Royal Knights
Wesley Chapel Wildcats
Wiregrass Ranch Bulls
Seahawk Field at Sunlake High School
When Pasco County started building its share of new schools throughout the county, many of the stadiums were mimicked in regards to their makeup and Seahawk Field falls in line with the likes of Anclote’s and Fivay’s. The stadium is just off of State Road 54 and the local Beef O’Bradys is the place to go after the game if you’re looking for a bite to eat afterwards. Parking is easily accessible as the stadium is within easy walking distance. Grand stands are not of that compared to the older venues, but is still a nice place to catch a football game at.
Hurricane Field at Bishop McLaughlin High School
One of the smallest venues in Pasco County to watch a football game at, the parking flows well and distance for walking is very reasonable. Hurricane Field’s seating capacity leaves you hoping there might be added stands or some revamping done, as a couple hundred people attending a game could fill both the away and home bleachers. Nonetheless, the field is located just off of State Road 52 and minutes from the Suncoast Expressway. Game day experience is a neat little field surrounded by forestry and with the baseball field in the north end background.
Wildcat Stadium at Wesley Chapel High School
Just a drive down Wells Road will take you over to Wesley Chapel High School and to Wildcat Stadium, which opened up in the late 1990’s. The stadium is just beyond Weightman Middle School and Wesley Chapel High School, the venue has a good feel for high school football on Friday nights. With trees shrouding the background of the scoreboard, it’s squeezed in between the baseball and softball fields at the school. The venue provides accessible parking for those attending a game and the grand stands sit a bit higher than those of the newer stadiums that have recently been built.
Bishop McLaughlin Hurricanes
Land O' Lakes Gators
Bulls Stadium at Wiregrass Ranch High School
Beyond all of the new construction of homes, Wiregrass Ranch Mall and the new Tampa Premier Outlets is Bulls Stadium, which is just beyond Bruce B. Downs and State Road 54. The stadium is just of that in line with the newer venues like Anclote, Fivay and Sunlake in terms of makeup. You’ll notice on the home grand stands the banner that says ‘Beat Chapel’ as the mantra is a year long saying. The parking at the stadium is easily accessible and it’s just a short walk over to the field. With the school looking to the north end, baseball field on the east side and a neighborhood just beyond the south end, Bulls Stadium is surrounded by little forestry and more of a neighborhood feel.
Cobra Stadium at Hudson High School
Hudson has been around a long time and Cobra Stadium is a bit of the opposite in regards to venue location in comparison to its counterpart at Fivay High School. Part of the ‘Backyard Brawl’ rivalry with Fivay must come from venue location for Cobra Stadium, as it sits seemingly in a backyard location. Located off of Hicks Road and minutes away from Veterans Memorial Park, Cobra Stadium gives an Old school feel to watching a high school football game. Throw in the surroundings of forestry with the high school in the background and you’ve got a nice venue for football on Friday nights.