GG High to get new stadium

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When Garden Grove High School student-athletes compete in their gleaming new stadium beginning in fall 2018 they will no doubt be inspired by the courageous alumnus for whom it is named.

That hero is Michael A. Monsoor, a 1999 graduate and posthumous Medal of Honor recipient.

When Garden Grove High School student-athletes compete in their gleaming new stadium beginning in fall 2018 they will no doubt be inspired by the courageous alumnus for whom it is named.

That hero is Michael A. Monsoor, a 1999 graduate and posthumous Medal of Honor recipient.

The school officially revealed plans to dedicate the facility in memory of the late U.S. Navy SEAL in an event scheduled Tuesday, March 15, in front of the administration building, 11271 Stanford Ave. in Garden Grove. The program, beginning at 5 p.m., will include Garden Grove Unified School District representatives, local civic and elected leaders and members of veterans’ organizations. Expected VIP guests of honor include Michael Monsoor’s parents, George and Sally, and other family members.

“When completed, our new stadium will represent a lasting tribute to the bravery of Michael Monsoor, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty and freedom, and unselfishly answered the call to defend our nation,” said Principal Steve Osborne. “He will always have a special place in the hearts of all Argonauts.”

As proposed, Michael A. Monsoor Memorial Stadium will be a 3,500-seat athletic facility boasting such state-of-the-art amenities as a nine-lane synthetic track, natural turf field, energy-efficient lighting, LED scoreboard and a well-appointed press box. Other features consist of a new concession stand, new visitor and home restrooms and ticket booths, and a storage area.

Construction is expected to start late next year with completion projected for summer 2018. Formal dedication ceremonies will take place when work is concluded.

It will replace the current stadium at Garden Grove High built in 1958 with its six-lane dirt track and mix of wood and aluminum bleachers.

“This impressive new facility will represent another major investment by the district to provide quality educational and athletic facilities for our students and scholar-athletes,” said Board of Education President George West. “We look forward to cheering on the players when they compete on the new field very soon.”

Born in Long Beach, Monsoor moved to Garden Grove, where he attended Dr. Walter C. Ralston Intermediate School and Garden Grove High, where he played tight end on the varsity football team.

He enlisted in the Navy in 2001 and completed initial training as an elite SEAL in 2004. During combat against insurgents in Ramadi, Iraq, Monsoor sacrificed his life when he leaped on a live grenade to save two SEAL team comrades in September 2006. For his valiant actions, the petty officer was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2008 by then President George W. Bush.

The following month, dedication ceremonies were held at Garden Grove High for the Michael A. Monsoor Freedom Memorial, homage to the 24 Garden Grove High School graduates who gave their lives in the line of duty while serving in the U.S. armed forces. The memorial is displayed in the school’s Heritage Hall and includes photographs of all 24 graduates, a collection of their personal memorabilia, and flags of all U.S. military service branches. Monsoor is honored with a special plaque in the center of the exhibit.