The new look Lumpkins Stadium was re-opened to the public Friday night at 7 p.m. when the gates opened for a dedication ceremony.

The ceremony consisted of players and coaches from the 1970s all the way up to now and speakers, including the dedication speech by Stuart B. Lumpkins Jr.

The ceremony was opened at 8 p.m. by the event’s emcee, Ken Roberts, voice of the Waxahachie Indians on KBEC 1390.

“Lumpkins has been a focal point for our community for a long time, and whether you played on this field, marched on this field, cheered on this field, walked across the stage and graduated, this has always been a special place,” Roberts said. “We’re here to not only look forward to a bright future in this facility, but also to recognize this facility and all the great things that happened here over the years.”

Following Roberts’ opening remarks, Waxahachie ISD superintendent Thomas Collins stepped up to the microphone and thanked everyone that was involved in the renovations to the stadium.

“Mostly, I want to thank the community because this wouldn’t have been possible without them,” Collins said. “What I hope for the next 40 or 50 years is that when our opponents come to town, when we have band competitions here, when we have playoff games here is that people that come here realize what a privilege it is to be here because of our community.”

Collins also recounted his first visit to Lumpkins Stadium as superintendent.

“The first game I saw in Lumpkins Stadium I got here early and watched the team warm up, the band started playing the fight song and I realized this is the most wonderful place I could be,” Collins said. “When you come to a Waxahachie game it is special.”

Current head football coach David Ream was next on the stage and shared his feelings on what this stadium does for Waxahachie.

“The renovations that you see here today will keep this stadium and our program at the forefront of Texas high school football,” Ream said. “These young men have had the privilege of playing for a high school and living in a community where winning is important and commitment is high.”

Ream also introduced all of the coaches that roamed the sidelines of Lumpkins Stadium before him.

Stuart B. Lumpkins Jr. followed the coach by delivering an emotionally charged dedication speech about his father and the newly designed stadium.

“It’s been 38 years and I can still remember standing on this field during the original dedication ceremony in September of 1973 when I was 14 years old,” Lumpkins Jr. said. “I remember watching a great 1973 Waxahachie Indian football team and being thankful for a community honoring my father, but he was being honored for a part of his life that I knew little about at the time.”

To Lumpkins Jr., the stadium’s namesake was just his dad.

“My memories of him were more about our times together,” he said. “I remember so many times playing catch in the backyard, going deep in the back corner of the yard, diving and catching the imaginary winning touchdown. And asking him to throw it again and he would. Over and over again.”

But the son knows now that those passes weren’t the reason the stadium has his father’s name on it.

“He served our country