Stephenville Yellow Jacket fans are known for swarming around stadiums in support of the football boys when they compete in away games. Many fans were left stung by frustration after the Stephenville-Aledo match up at Bearcat Stadium in 2007.
Aledo school officials hope to alleviate some of the pain by offering fans shuttles to and from the stadium when the two teams meet once again at Bearcat Stadium at 7:30 Friday night.
“When the game ended I think we sat in the parking lot for over an hour before we could move,” said Kirby Stephens, president of the Stephenville Athletic Booster Club. “After that, I swore I would never go back to Aledo.”
Bearcat Stadium opened in 2006 and the Yellow Jackets first met Aledo there in 2007.
The two varsity football teams began lining up against each other in 2002 when Aledo moved from a 3A division school to 4A and a rivalry between soon formed.
Last year, the teams played at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville. With a capacity of 7,000, the stadium was filled to the brim with Can Fans and Bearcat supporters.
Bearcat Stadium has an 8,155-person capacity and an estimated 8,000 Yellow Jacket fans travel to Aledo in ‘07 to support their boys. Several fans even missed the kick-off because the number of cars trying to get to the stadium caused traffic jams.
Narrow roads lead to and from the stadium, which did not have enough parking spaces for all the fans. This year, fans will be asked to park and ride as shuttle buses run from the stadium to two church parking lots.
Pick-up and drop-off schedules will be the same for both Willow Park Baptist Church, located at 129 South Ranch House Road in Aledo, and Aledo United Methodist Church, at 313 Pecan Street.
Buses will pick up fans beginning at 6 p.m. and will go to Bearcat Stadium, dropping them off just to the south of the stadium’s front entrance. The same loop will continue until 7:45. There will also be one run to both locations 15 minutes following halftime. Fans will be returned to their parking areas 15 minutes after the end of the game and additional returns as quickly as traffic will allow, up to one hour after the end of the game.
There will be no charge for the air-conditioned bus ride.
Aledo school officials said the Willow Park Baptist Church is likely the best parking location for Stephenville fans and the best bet is to take Exit 418 at Ranch House Road off I-20. Fans can head south on Ranch House Road and the church has a blue roof on the left at the dead end.
Fans can visit Aledo’s Web site www.aledo.k12.tx.us for complete details.
Stephens said he is planning on heading back to Aledo Friday and urges other fans to be patient and prepared for a long wait.
“You have to go because it’s Aledo and it’s going to be a fantastic game,” Stephens said.