CINCINNATI — Purcell Marian High School rising sophomore Alaina Gentry smiled Monday morning when asked about the enthusiasm for the athletics program as this school year concludes.
"The inclusivity is great; the sports are great," Gentry said. "It's glad to be known here at Purcell."
The school had an eye toward the future Monday as it hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for Staubach Stadium, an athletics complex that is scheduled to open on the campus in fall 2023.
"It's really exciting," said Gentry, who plays soccer and is a kicker on the football team.
"I will be really glad to play on the field especially my senior year. It's a good way to keep the community together and me personally it's a good way to put my name out there and especially the school."
Staubach Stadium is named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, a 1960 Purcell High School graduate. The stadium will be located at Woodburn Avenue and De Sales Lane and is a first for the school in its 94-year history.
"This is a 94-year endeavor in the making," said Purcell Marian athletic director DJ Dowdy, who is also the Cavaliers' head football coach.
"For us not to have a home and to finally have a home on Hackenberry (Street) here is tremendous for our community."
Football, soccer, cheerleading and softball teams are among the teams scheduled to benefit from the stadium.
"Being in our own stadium, playing with our own fans at the school - I think that will be really cool," said 2024 quarterback Chad Mumper.
Student-athletes have practiced and played home games at dozens of fields, stadiums and complexes around Greater Cincinnati since the school's inception.
The football and soccer teams play their home games at Marx Stadium on the Walnut Hills High School campus.
Dowdy said the school has to pay $700 for a bus on a per game basis for the one-mile commute.
Staubach Stadium will be a game-changer for the school, families and supporters of everything that the Cavaliers call home.
"This gives us literally the opportunity to level the playing field," Dowdy said.
"Seeing our kids run out onto that field a place they get to call home...it's going to be really big for our community to have sports on campus not only for our athletes but for their parents, for future Cavaliers and our community."