Bull Run Observer

14 January 2011, p. 47

“The Gainesville-Haymarket Youth Football League, better known as the Grizzlies, players and coaches will soon have their own fields to use.

“In a unanimous vote, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a 35-year license for the sixth-largest youth football league in the nation, according to information from the Grizzlies’ Laura Landrum.

“The 16 acres of land, proffered by the board [as published; should read ‘proffered by Brookfield Homes following earlier BOCS vote to approve Avendale for Brookfield Homes’], is estimated to cost a million dollars; Brookfield Homes and Grizzly supporters Skip Albrite [of Patriot Development Corp] and [commercial realtor and developer] Mary Ann Ghadban [of Weber-Rector, Inc.] have donated funds as well. The Grizzlies, through the Field of Dreams Fund, will make a $250,000 financial investment to complete phase one of the project.

“At the board’s Dec. 14 meeting, Landrum said the players currently practice on poorly maintained fields. The Grizzly organization, she assured, can cover the maintenance costs of the Vint Hill fields and facilities. She noted the Grizzlies had grown from 100 players in 1999 to more than 782 players and cheerleaders in the 2010 fall program.

“The fields will be completed in phases, according to an e-mail from Gary Skeens, the football league commissioner. Phase one will include two grass football fields with access road from Vint Hill Road. A snack bar and picnic pavilion, along with parking lots and utilities, will be in the first phase, also.

“Ultimately, the facility will include a third, synthetic field. The Grizzlies will control operations, scheduling and maintenance for 35 years. Yearly costs are estimated at $24,000.

“Wally Covington, Brentsville supervisor, supported the Grizzlies and promoted the extension of public-private partnerships, such as this one.

“The Grizzlies intend to have the two fields open for play in September 2011.

“A site plan drawing of the Grizzlies’ Vint Hill Park is online: www.grizzlyfootball.org”