Recently we asked our readers for their memories of Campus Field. I wasn’t sure what kind of response we would get for such a question, guessing maybe it was just a place people went to play and watch football, but the response has been overwhelming.
I took a walk down to the field recently on a warm September afternoon to refresh my own memories of the field, not realizing that I too have fond memories of Friday night lights, band, dance team and selling concessions at the iconic spot.
I remember nights in middle school hanging out on the hill near the school, spending time with friends and not really watching football.
I remember high school nights rushing to the old middle school gym in full band uniform for pep band and then marching (not well) on the field. Thanks to Stacy DeGolier and Rachel (Vale) Tietyen for helping me through the LM formation. We were a squad of three flute players trailing along behind the rest of the band.
I remember Jim Oertel directing us with passion and humor.
I remember rushing off the field to change and then sell concessions for FFA and getting our fair share of treats.
Looking back to the days before high school, who can forget sledding on the hills at the field.
I remember Homecomings and the smell of fall in the air, but mostly I remember the feeling. I remember what it felt like to be young, to only be concerned about my Algebra test on Monday or getting to work at McDonalds early the next morning.
If I was going to name the feeling it would be nostalgia. At the time I was making the memories, but I didn’t even realize it. I didn’t think I would miss it, but a part of me does miss those care free Friday nights spent at Campus Field.
Now I have a much different life. I’m a mom and wife and have a full-time job, but I realize I can look forward to a new set of memories to be made when my children are playing sports at Lake Mills High School on the new field that will last for years to come. I look forward to those Friday night lights, though different than what I remember, but still good.
The new field will be a safe place on the high school campus for our athletes to practice and play and for those of you not comfortable with the change don’t worry too much. The field isn’t going anywhere and will still be available for community sports, high school and Grays baseball and used for middle school students. A little more room for those young students to run and play is a good thing.
Change is always hard especially when it involves nostalgia. There is a long history of memories for Lake Mills at Campus Field. They are memories we won’t easily forget, and we shouldn’t, but we are ready to make memories on a new field for a new generation of Lake Mills.