The Seton Catholic Cougars are finally home.
After four seasons playing on public schools’ fields for home games and a last-second dormant 2016 season, Saturday was truly home with their newly minted turfed field.
Earlier in the week, Seton’s girls soccer team opened the season with a 2-0 victory over Elma to christen its new field.
Saturday, it was the football team’s turn on the turfed field that took a year’s worth of planning.
And even though Charles Wright Academy’s 22-13 nonleague victory spoiled the Cougars’ home opener, the atmosphere was unforgettable.
Hundreds of fans lined the sidelines and end zones, sat in their own lawn chairs or the picnic tables provided, feasted on the fundraiser BBQ, and decked out in Hawai’ian-themed attire.
As much as the players deserved playing on a true home field, so did the fans, said senior Jonathan Stell. Since Seton’s inaugural season of football in 2012, all home games were played at Camas’ Doc Harris Stadium.
Not anymore. Their football/soccer field became ready by mid-August.
“It was great to play at home,” Stell said. “I wanted to play harder than I ever have here.”
Stell finished with a team-best 116 yards rushing on 14 carries Saturday. Taj Muhammad rushed for both the team’s touchdowns — 11 and 9 yards — in the first half, as the Cougars (1-1) trailed 14-13 at halftime to the Tarriers (2-0) out of University Place near Tacoma.
Penalties also proved costly for Seton. Two would-be touchdowns by Seton in the second half were called back because of flags, and a roughing the passer penalty on a fourth-down play eventually led to a Charles Wright touchdown that gave the Tarriers their one-point lead at halftime.
The offense struggled in the second half, and after Seton turned the ball over on downs with 8 minutes, 55 seconds left in the fourth, CWA stretched its lead to 22-13 by eating more than 6 minutes off the clock, ending the drive with Asher Shakoor-Asadi’s 7-yard touchdown run.
All in all, Ed Little, Seton Catholic’s founding president and principal, called Saturday an awesome day for the Seton community.
“A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to make this happen, “Little said. “There’s a difference when kids get to play on their home field.”
The football/soccer field is the first of two athletic fields to be completed at the school in the 2017-18 school year. The track, located behind the school, will be finished this spring, Little said.
CHARLES WRIGHT 22, SETON CATHOLIC 13
Char. Wright 7 7 0 8—22
Seton Cath. 7 6 0 0—13
CW — Asher Shakoor 8 run (kick good)
SC — Taj Muhammad 11 run (kick good)
SC — Muhammad 9 run (kick failed)
CW — Dane Jacobson 9 pass from Anthony Lundberg (kick good)
CW — Asher Shakoor 7 run (Alex Meadowcroft pass from Lundberg)
RUSHING — Seton Catholic: Jonathan Stell 14-116, Taj Muhammad 11-57, Tyvauntae Deloney 4-21, Josh Vick 1-(minus-2); Charles Wright: Asher Shakoor 21-99; Mike Silveria 3-26.
PASSING — Seton Catholic: Tyvauntae Deloney 5-8-1-34, Jonathon Stell 0-4-0-0; Charles Wright: Anthony Lundberg 15-21-0-162
RECEIVING — Seton Catholic: Matt Kent 2-21, Mike Silveria 2-8, Elijah Volk 1-3; Charles Wright: Alex Meadowcroft 5-57, Noah Fields 3-27, Hayden Saalfield 2-20, Anthony Lundfield 2-39.