Mebane community steps up to raise money for Eastern Alamance field house

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MEBANE, N.C. -- They've got winning records. Dedicated coaches. Determined players.

But one thing Eastern Alamance High School doesn't have -- is a field house.

"Eastern Alamance is the only school in this entire county that does not have a field house," football coach Patrick Stokes said. "But we've decided instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for ourselves -- we're going to change that."

Coaches, parents and students of all ages have come together with support from the Mebane community to try and raise around $750,000 to build one.

"[Our kids] deserve this," said Eastern parent Jessica Ball. "And that's why we're doing it."

Right now, Eastern Alamance athletes said they have a small trailer to use as a locker room and a separate small space inside. They said neither has proper ventilation or facilities.

"The biggest issue, honestly, is health and safety," Coach Stokes said. "It's a really unfortunate situation right now for all of our student athletes."

"Students have to change and put on their stuff in the parking lot," Ball said. "And you line up after the games and you wait an hour for your child to get his turn to go into the locker room."

Stokes said every Eastern Alamance class, from 1962 to 2024, is holding a competition to see who can raise the most money for the field house.

"I want to be a cheerleader for this school one day," said rising fifth grader Isabella Walters. "It would mean a lot to us."

Coach Stokes emphasized that the field house would not be just for football players.

"It would be for all student athletes and it's also for students in general," he said. "In this facility we'll have a health education classroom that will be used every period all day by health students."

He said, in the school's 50 year history, there has never been a field house. But he's confident that's about to change.

"To be honest, and this is the history teacher in me -- since 1962, they've been trying to raise funds for a field house at Eastern Alamance. Since then they've built and torn down the Berlin Wall. But yet we can't get enough funds just for a field house? Now is the time."

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