Bengals contribute $250,000 to reopen Milford Sports Complex

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MILFORD, Ohio — The athletic department at Milford High School celebrates the completion of the Charity J. Lucas Multi-Purpose Athletic Complex on Friday.

The Cincinnati Bengals, the NFL Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have teamed up to donate $250,000 to exempt village schools in Milford to support the installation of a new grass pitch.

A grand reopening ceremony will take place at the resort at 9 a.m. Friday.

The event will include a football skills and drill competition for youth and K-8 students, as well as a 7-on-7 challenge for K-12 students, according to a Bengals press release.

“We are very grateful for the support of the Bengals in making this project a reality for our student-athletes,” said Milford Superintendent John W. Spieser.

“Milford has a proud history of athletic excellence and we dream that this turf project will provide a high performance stage on which our Eagle athletes can continue to train and win. Charity Lucas Memorial Field is located across from our high school , and has high visibility in our community.With the continued support of our Milford Athletic Boosters, the NFL Grassroots Grant empowers Milford athletes to thrive and succeed for generations to come.

A press release from Milford High School said the project was privately funded through generational contributions from the Milford Athletic Boosters, Cincinnati Bengals and FC Cincinnati. The completion of this upgrade comes nearly a decade after the turf was installed at Eagle Stadium Powered by Cullen Electric, another project privately funded by the Milford Athletic Boosters.

Friday will have two parts, morning football activities, followed by afternoon and evening soccer festivities.

After a break until mid-afternoon, football will take center stage for the rest of the day. At 3:00 p.m., alumni of Milford’s men’s and women’s soccer programs are invited to take part in a special alumni game.

A grand reopening ceremony is to follow.

The evening ends with a college football doubleheader featuring Milford hosting Colerain. The girls game starts at 5:00 p.m. with the boys teams entering the pitch at 7:00 p.m.

The sports complex will provide access to safe and reliable field space for Milford High School student-athletes as well as a number of other extracurricular activities available to students, according to a statement.

The newly replaced pitch will also expand opportunities for community partnerships with other youth organizations, providing additional pitch space for area youth programs.

“We are beyond thrilled to receive the NFL Grassroots grant and support from the Cincinnati Bengals to provide an artificial turf pitch for our thousands of student-athletes in our district,” said Milford athletic director Aaron Zupka.

“We’ve been working on this grassroots project for over five years now and the many fundraising challenges during Covid have kept us from reaching the finish line. The NFL Grassroots Grant couldn’t have come at a better time. I am thrilled about the many additional opportunities we can now bring to the Milford community through this project through enriching and life-changing extra-curricular activities for all ages.”

The Milford football team opens the season on August 19 against visiting Edgewood.

“Milford’s football program is becoming one of the best football programs in the ECC (Eastern Cincinnati Conference) and this support from the Bengals will significantly enhance our overall athletic program,” said the Milford coach, Tom Grippa.

“We have a rich football tradition and the support from the Charity Lucas Multi-Purpose Stadium Foundation Grant will help both the football program and the football program. Our football and football programs will be able to utilize our two superb facilities. That’s a win, a win for our sports program.”

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