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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

New Sherbeck Field inauguration brings Hornets past and future together

After years of proposals, meetings, and petitions, the Sherbeck Field Improvement Project is finally in the rear-view mirror.
Cesar Garcia
Former Hornets gather before kickoff for the Opening Ceremony of the new Sherbeck Field, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023

Fullerton College unveiled its renovated Sherbeck Field to the public with a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 2, as they hosted their first on-campus home football game since their inaugural season in 1916.

The opening ceremony started at 4 p.m. with KBPK streaming live and the Friends of Fullerton College Foundation hosting the event.

Alumni, former players, coaches, trainers, board members, faculty, and residents of Fullerton were present at the ceremony. The Hornets Championship team of 1983 also attended the event.

The “Voice of the Hornets” Mark Pavlovich is joined on KBPK by many former players, coaches and other alumni at the Opening Ceremony for Sherbeck Field on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. (Cesar Garcia)

Hornets Football Head Coach Garret Campbell kicked things off as he spoke at the ceremony, thanking the several NOCCCD Board of Trustees in attendance with FC branded footballs.

He then spoke of his late father Dick Campbell, a former Hornet assistant coach on the national championship title team of 1983 and state title teams of 2016 and 2017.

“There’s one thing that happens when your father passes away, especially when your father is someone who looms large in your world, your best friend, mentor, all sorts of things,” said Campbell. “When he passed away there was only one thing I wanted from him, and that was his 1983 National Championship ring. I got it.”

The ring came from the last national title of legendary Hornets Head Coach Hal Sherbeck. His son Dave Sherbeck was present at the event, and Campbell called him to the stage. “Somehow, someway, I ended up in the possession of Coach Sherbeck’s 1983 Championship ring, so I’d like to invite Dave Sherbeck up,” said Campbell.

Campbell handed over the ring to Dave Sherbeck as many of the former players chanted the word “speech.” He then took his teeth out in response, as it was something his dad would do.

The ceremony continued with several coaches, trainers, and former players telling stories of the past history of the football program at Fullerton College.

Fullerton College Athletic Director Scott Giles meets with VIP attendees at the new Sherbeck Field on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. (Cesar Garcia)

In Nov. 2019, the NOCCCD Board of Trustees approved the Sherbeck Field Improvement Project in a narrow 4-3 vote. The renovations included permanent bleachers that seat 4,400 fans, a new lighting system, and new speakers, all budgeted at $4.6 million.

This project was waiting in limbo for years. Many residents were concerned the new and improved field would bring traffic, parking issues, noise and light pollution, among other issues.

However, two weeks after the project’s approval, the NOCCCD Board of Trustees voted to reduce the permanent bleachers down from 4,400 to 2,000 seats in an attempt to appease the concerned residents. In addition, there were commitments made by Fullerton College that put restrictions on the use of the new field.

“Those restrictions include; any outside groups will not be permitted to use the field lighting on Saturday or Sunday, outside groups will not be allowed to rent the field for performances or concerts, the field sound system will not exceed 91 decibels during the event” wrote Maureen Grimaldo for The Hornet in 2019.

In another act of good faith, 150 letters were sent out to nearby houses containing two free season long passes, as informed by Olivo.

Fullerton College President Cynthia Olivo said this is historic for the college, as the current players could learn about the teams history and inspire future players for the institution.

“This is a day in our history, a very proud day in our history. What it means is that our players get to experience the pride that they have in their sport and just live it out in person for all Hornets from the past and the future,” Olivo said.

A former player under Hal Sherbeck in 1983, Lance Wingert, seemed to be excited for the current players over the renewal of the field. “I think it’s incredible to bring it back home and just have a place they can call their own turf. And you know Hal Sherbeck the legendary coach, his spirit is here. We’re here to honor the team and honor the tradition of once a Hornet always a Hornet.”

Olivo said that despite the high amount of money used on the project, it will bring facility benefits to other Hornets’ sports teams and the school in general.

“We’re going to go ahead and make sure that our other athletic teams utilize it,” Olivo said. “We use this for commencement as well. So we love the fact that we’ll have this here to be able to have our very own graduation ceremony here.”

President Cynthia Olivo does the honorary coin toss for the first time on Sherbeck Field on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. (Cesar Garcia)

All proceeds of the event will go towards the Hal Sherbeck Scholarship Fund for student athletes.

Following the opening ceremony, The Hornets faced The Santa Barbara Vaqueros in their first game of the season, closing the inauguration with a 27-14 win at home.

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About the Contributors
Brian Mack
Brian Mack, Staff Reporter
Brian Mack is a first semester staff reporter for The Hornet newspaper. In his free time, he loves watching anime, sports, and playing video games. He also enjoys sneakers and reading comic books. His goal in journalism is to continue to learn and improve the various skills required in to be in the field.
Cesar Garcia
Cesar Garcia, Staff Photographer
Cesar Garcia, a mechanical design engineer and a photographer for The Hornet newspaper. He skillfully navigates the dual worlds of precision and creativity. In his engineering career, he excels in designing innovative solutions. As one of the newspaper's dedicated photographers, Cesar captures life's stories with a keen eye for detail and compelling narratives. Beyond his professional pursuits, he finds solace and joy amidst the electrifying atmosphere of live concerts, where he marvels at the engineering precision of music. Cesar's life forms a harmonious tapestry, blending technical prowess, artistic expression, a love for nature and the outdoors, and the exhilaration of live performances into a captivating and multifaceted narrative.

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