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Cherry athletic fields undergo extreme makeover

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CHERRY, MN. -- Earlier this week, Cherry football and baseball players got a first look inside their new locker rooms, and weight room, along with checking out how construction is going on their brand new athletic fields they will soon be playing on.

Cherry football players were estatic seeing their new locker room for the first time since construction started on it three months ago.

"To get kids back together and actually see the progress it's fantastic," said Jason Marsh, head football coach.

It's part of a 13.5 million dollar project.

Because of poor field conditions, Cherry has not hosted a football game since 2015. All that changes once the new field -- equipped with new grass and a higher elevation -- is completed.

"Our number one goal here as educators is safety, and our sports fields were getting to the point where they weren't safe anymore whether it's drainage issues, slippery surfaces," said Zach Swart, activities director.

For players, gone are the days of muddy football games.

"It's really crazy. It's a battle of against the environment too instead of just playing the game," said Nathan Linder, a Cherry football player.

The project began a year ago and since then the football has been practicing at Cherry Town Hall and played games at Mountain Iron-Buhl.

With the growing enrollment, this project benefits players now and in the future.

"I think it's going to do wonders for getting kids out, getting more kids involved in athletics. It's a win-win all the way around," added Marsh.

The football field isn't the only athletic field at Cherry high school getting a complete makeover as the baseball field will also be brand new come the start of the season next spring.

"I'm pretty excited. It's going to be nice to be able to play on a nice complex and not be playing in two inches of water the whole time. Just excited, and ready to play," said Beau Barry, a Cherry football and baseball player.

Just like the football field, the baseball diamond will have new grass and be higher up.

"It means everything to be able to play at our home field and then with the support of our community now, with the new field, excitement levels are all time high right now," added Linder.

Ultimately, when both projects are complete, Cherry will once again gather to celebrate sports back in their community.

"It will be really nice next year to see community, alumni, and people back at Cherry school watching football on hopefully a nice Friday night with no bugs, and watching a competitive football game whomever we are playing and it will be very rewarding so the community will get back together, back where they should be at Cherry school," added Swart.

Included in that 13.5 million dollar project includes a complete face-lift to the school building including four new classrooms in the high school and elementary school, a new band room that's twice the size of the old one, and all science rooms remodeled.

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Ryan Compeau

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