HS FBall: A look back at Lefty Faris Field

National Sports
Sept. 8 was the final varsity competition at Lefty Faris Field in Mandan. As they setup one last time, here’s a look at some of the ups and downs of this historic field.

“Well, they put it on last year’s seniors saying, ‘This is going to be the last game here,'” said Mandan coach Todd Sheldon. “Now, we’re at the point where we’re going to get to be a part of the last varsity contest.”

Lefty Faris Field has been around for more than 50 years. In that time, the track was home to one boy’s track and field state title in 1984. And two girl’s track and field state titles in 1985 and 2002.

“This community has really gotten behind our high school programs,” Sheldon said.

But field has had it’s issues.

“The bleachers obviously deteriorated a little bit,” Mandan Parks and Recreation Director Cole Higlin said. “They out lived their expectancy.”

Also, rain caused puddling and even forced some track meets to be canceled. It’s an issue that will a distant memory at the new Starion Sports Complex.

“A nice drain system so that during heavy storms we are able to address it from the football field and the track stand point,” Higlin said.

Despite those shortcomings, the old place had charm.

“It protects the wind so well,” Century football coach Ron Wingenbach said. “It seems like the fans are right on top of you. So there are a lot of great memories on that field.”

Mandan coach Tood Sheldon will definitely miss it.

“Love the atmosphere,” Sheldon said, “and to be able to come back and coach here. The closeness of the fans, the interaction with the band all those things make this a really awesome place to play.”

The Braves look to close out Faris Field with a win against the defending Class AAA state champions tonight with kickoff set for 7 p.m.


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