There will be a little more emotion on Thursday night when the Brooke Bruins open the season against the Wheeling Park Patriots.
Not only is it a rivalry game, the Bruins are also renaming the field at Brooke Memorial Stadium after legendary coach Paul “Bud” Billiard.
The Bruins are kicking off their 50th season and alumni are packing the stands.
Coach Billiard led the Bruins for 23 seasons from 1979 to 2001, winning 185 games and three state titles in 1985, ’87 and ’90.
“This is just an honor I can’t put into words because I’m the coach that was here when we first opened the stadium,” Budro said. “I was here when we won state championships and playoffs on this field. It’s all just very special.”
The celebration doesn’t stop with the pre-game ceremony.
Coach Billiard will also be inducted into the Brooke Sports Hall of Fame in October.