The 2019 Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers (first photo) break the ribbon to enter the field at their home opener Thursday, Sept. 5 as the new artificial turf playing surface at Bobby Franklin Field was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony during pre-game. Local dignitaries were on hand to participate in the event, which highlighted a two-year, two-phase stadium refurbishment project at Bobby Franklin Field. Phase I, still underway, includes an Astroturf Gameday 3D Trionic playing surface, six-lane running track, new brick and iron fencing, and larger electronic scoreboard. Phase II, which will begin shortly, will feature a new stadium entrance, ticket booth and bookstore, updated press box, LED field lighting system, home bleacher expansion and visitor bleacher replacement. Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Patti Gordon (second photo, far left) and Northwest President, Dr. Michael Heindl (far right) welcomed benefactors of the college’s new state-of-the-art electronic scoreboard to the event. “Without the generosity of these gentlemen, the purchase of this magnificent new scoreboard would not have been possible,” said Gordon. “It really adds to the game day atmosphere and is an impressive addition to our stadium. We are truly grateful for these contributions.” Participating at the event were (from left) Dr. Edward Field, University Sports Medicine; Steve Thompson, Cornerstone Rehabilitation; Michael Joe Cannon, Cannon Motors of Mississippi; Jay Tindall, Sycamore Bank; and Jimmy Stennet, Sayle Oil Company. Members of the college’s Board of Trustees were also honored guests at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Participating were (third photo, l to r) Steve Cummings, Yalobusha County; William Austin, DeSoto County; Steve White, Lafayette County; Dorothy Wilbourn, Panola County; David Hargett, Tallahatchie County; Jerry Barrett, Tate County; John Lamar, board attorney, Tate County; Dr. Lela Hale, Marshall County; Dr. Lisa Langford, Calhoun County; Cory Uselton, vice chairman, DeSoto County; Judy Bland, Quitman County; and Northwest President, Dr. Michael Heindl. Photos by Julie Bauer.