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Branson gets new turf, completes remarkable fundraiser to save football

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 4:30 PM MDT
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BRANSON, Colo. (KKTV) - The small-town transformation is complete.

“I think I have wounds on my body from pinching myself...this isn’t even possible.” Branson superintendent Brad Caldwell said, beaming with pride as he stood on Branson’s new astroturf.

Bearcat football, after months of fundraising and grant-pleading, have completed their football “Field of Dreams”. At the end of last football season, schools began boycotting Branson’s field. It was a glorified cow pasture: a dirt patch littered with gopher holes and no grass that had grown into a safety concern.

With the prospect of being forced to re-locate their home games, Branson residents got creative. Thanks to a peppy video created by the students and a small but persistent athletic department, Branson’s “C.L.A.W. Project” managed to raise more then $552,000 dollars from around 4,000 separate donors. The 80-yard football field was installed over the summer with new goalposts, scoreboard, and much more to come.

The Branson/Kim Bearcats opened their field on Sept. 11, defeating Deer Trail 72-14 in front of a crowd about three times the size of the town. Branson celebrated opening day with a dinner and a concert on the new digs.

“It’s probably been one of the biggest days of my life,” Branson sophomore Brock Doherty said, a sixth-generation resident of the town. “This morning I woke up and I was like...wow. It’s really happening. It’s just awesome to see it all come together.”

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