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Renovations planned for old Adair football field

The Chilton Tigers semi-pro football team has aspirations to take a large leap forward following the Chilton County Board of Education’s decision to approve the team’s use of the old Adair football field during its meeting on July 16.

According to team owner Blake Shirah, there are several renovations planned, including “completely gutting” a building nearby to use as a locker room.

However, adding lights and a scoreboard are the biggest needs in order to make the facility “game ready.”

Temporary bleachers will also be added.

Although the plan is there, how fast the plan comes together is dependent on the funding available.

As a nonprofit, Shirah said that he hopes the school board’s approval will spur community support from local businesses to help in the renovation process.

“It’s grown a lot more then I ever imagined,” Shirah said. “It’s an adventure, and we’re happy to be taking it with the people of Chilton County.”

The Tigers play in the Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League and consists primarily of high school seniors and players recently graduated from high school.

According to Shirah, nine players received attention to play at the next level after having played for the Tigers last season.

One of those included recent Chilton County High School graduate C.J. Hunter being given an opportunity to walk-on at Alabama State as a kicker.

Two players also got opportunities to workout with arena league teams.

“We have had people that have seen the good that comes out of this,” Shirah said. “We couldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for the community and their support.”

Shirah’s goal for Year 2 is to have the team roster more oriented toward helping high school seniors get looks from college programs.

“That’s what my end goal is,” Shirah said. “I hope that nine players [shown college interest] grows to 20.”

The renovation process could take up to a year to complete, which means that the field may not be ready for the start of the next season in March.

If this is the case, Shirah assured that the games will go on but may have to take place at the city park once more.

The Board of Education stated that the approval was pending on the Chilton Tigers showing proof of insurance and the Industrial Development Board approving a release of the property.