Columbia County is not known as a hotbed for professional football.
Maybe the arenafootball2's Augusta Stallions can change that perception.
The Stallions (11-2) have practiced off and on at Evans Middle School since the beginning of the season. Lineman Clarence Williams has grown fond of the outdoor venue.
"It's a whole lot better than going to Grovetown," Williams said jokingly. "I don't have any problem with it. A lot of people like playing outside anyway. It gives us a chance to get off that turf for a little while. So I enjoy going on grass."
The Stallions have practiced at Evans Middle during their away weeks. When Augusta has had home games it has practiced at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
Stallions coach Mike Hold said that the team's outdoor facility has been an outdoor home away from home.
"It's a nice facility," Hold said. "Whenever we're not in the arena, this is a great place to practice."
The Stallions showed their appreciation for their part-time practice field recently. On June 22, Augusta held a Punt, Pass & Kick competition at the school's field.
"This is what builds the interest in the community for us," Hold said. "Plus, we get to help the kids learn a little."
The Stallions are on pace to have their finest season in existence. In its inaugural season, Augusta went 13-3 during the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. Last season, the Stallions won their first six games but missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
After its road trip to Charleston on Saturday, Augusta has two games left in the season. The Stallions play host to Tallahassee (June 20) and Norfolk (June 27) in the coming weeks.
Augusta needs to finish ahead of second place Macon (12-2) in the chase for the American Eastern standings to play host to a first-round playoff game. The Stallions, who have already clinched a postseason berth, will play the Knights in the first round. But if Macon finishes tied with Augusta, the Knights hold the tiebreaker and would play host to their first-round matchup.
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