Making a show of Wolverine pride: Tahoe-Truckee High School stadium gets surprise cleanup |

Making a show of Wolverine pride: Tahoe-Truckee High School stadium gets surprise cleanup

Just three weeks ago, Tahoe-Truckee High School’s Surprise Stadium had peeling paint, shredded bleacher boards and a scoreboard that was barely visible due to overgrown shrubbery. It was not a playing field environment worthy of Truckee’s young athletes.

With the help of one Truckee parent and a whole team of community volunteers, the biggest surprise for Surprise Stadium was that the arena was gleaming for the Wolverines’ first home football game of the season against Spring Creek.

Larry Ochoa, local Truckee Fire lieutenant and father of two sons, one still at TTHS, spearheaded a facelift for the stadium that included new bleachers, a paint job and landscaping work.

“I went over to there one day and thought it looked real bad and wanted to do something about it,” Ochoa said.

So he did.

He talked to the Sierra Boosters and contacted Sierra Pacific Industries out of Quincy and Sierra Pacific Industries Foundation in Redding. He was surprised when Sierra Pacific’s foundation agreed to donate $2,500 in lumber to replace all of the stadium benches.

And the donations just kept coming.

Ace Mountain Hardware donated the necessary primer and paint for the new benches as well as asphalt patch for fixing the holes underneath the benches. Tahoe City Lumber donated all of the installation hardware and Pacific Forest Products in Incline Village provided the transportation and delivery of the lumber.

The Rock Garden donated bark for landscaping, Advanced Asphalt donated asphalt patching and the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District donated the paint for the announcers booth and concession stand. Numerous other businesses pitched in as well.

Ochoa was overwhelmed with the support that came pouring in. Parents and students and other community members volunteered their time to help, and in just one week the stadium work was complete.

“It’s been a mix of everybody coming out to help out,” Ochoa said. “It’s been a real community effort to get this done. I think there’s a lot of student pride to make the place look better.”

The work was completed last week, just before the first home game, which Ochoa attended to watch his son Ryan, a varsity Wolverine football player. The work he and others completed was evident at all angles of the stadium.

“The kids are ecstatic. The place has needed this for a long time,” he said. “Everybody came together to make this look great.”

Students who worked on the project were also able to earn their required community service credits.

TTHS principal Dennis LeBlanc was more than thrilled by the work.

“It’s just so typical of Truckee,” LeBlanc said. “These people see an issue that needs to get done, and they go out and get it done.”

He said he didn’t know what else to say, but “thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“It’s Truckee pride and that’s the basis of everything we do,” he said.

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