TAMPA, Fla. - Christmas has come early for Hillsborough High football.

What You Need To Know

  • Hillsborough High is oldest public high school in Tampa Bay

  • Construction on new football field started last month

  • Head coach Earl Garcia proud of work that's been done

Christmas in the form of construction.

And like a kid on Christmas morning, head coach Earl Garcia was up bright and early the day construction began.

“I was waiting for them. I was so excited,” Garcia said.

Like a proud dad with his new baby, Garcia shows it off every chance he gets.

“I walk out there every day and take pictures and shoot them to my staff,” Garcia said. “And everyday it looks different.”

The oldest public high school in Tampa Bay is joining the 21st Century with a new state of the art turf field. Construction began last month and should be completed in August, just in time for the start of the football season.

“Our kids are going to have lines on the field,” Garcia said. “It can rain and don’t have to practice in mud. We have numbers. We have hashmarks. We have goal posts, like a real football team.”

For a team accustomed to having to make do, a turf field will be a welcome sight. Hillsborough’s storied program puts out a winning product every season. But sometimes they have to go without. Even without the niceties other programs enjoy, the Terriers tore it up on their home field.

“That field there has got memories that transcend us, for sure, and transcend me, back to the 30’s,” Garcia said.

As someone who has spent a lot of time pacing the sidelines of Chelo Huerta Field, Coach Garcia has plans to memorialize the old sod.

“Plant it in my yard, so I can walk on it,” he said.

Out with the old and in with the brand spankin' new.

“It’s very exciting,” Garcia said. “It’s been a long time coming. It has been.”