Warner football coach helps raise over $900k for new field

The Warner Monarchs football team held their first practice of the season Thursday.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 3:57 PM CDT
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WARNER, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Warner Monarchs football team held their first practice of the season Thursday. Thanks to community support, that practice was held on a brand new turf field.

The former grass football field was in need of upgrades after the Warner School District extended the running track to eight lanes, covering part of the practice field. Instead of just basic updates to the old field, the football coaching staff dreamt of turf field that they could practice on in all kinds of conditions.

”So, I went to the school board and was like, ‘Hey, what if I went around the community just to see what kind of energy there was to do something like this?’” said assistant coach Keith Knuppe.

The total project was estimated to cost $1.3 million, and Knuppe took it upon himself to raise funds within the community for the money.

”He took it and ran with it, and the next thing I know, he’s sending out letters and all of a sudden he’s at a school board meeting. All of a sudden, here we are. It’s reality,” said head coach Kerwin Hoellein.

Knuppe helped raise over $900,000 by asking for donations from local businesses and sending out flyers and letters to Warner residents.

The turf field was finished just the weekend before football practice started.

”You can just see the excitement in the kids coming out here and being able to play on a facility like this,” said Knuppe.

Senior player Zach Wood says he’s amazed at what a community of just 500 people can accomplish.

”When everyone comes together, it’s crazy what can happen. We’re just very grateful we have the people here at Warner to do things, like this for example, that are pretty cool,” said Wood.

The Monarchs will officially get to break in their new field at their first home game on August 19th.

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