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Former Leander football stadium had long history starting in West Texas

WT BARRETT STADIUM.JPG

From the light of dawn to the Friday night lights, the rhythms and the rivalries at A.C. Bible Jr. Memorial Stadium in Leander actually go way back to a legendary high school football program.

"In 1983 we bought the Barrett Stadium from Odessa," Leander Independent School District Director of Facilities and Operations Jimmy Disler said.

W.T. Barret Stadium was built in 1947 as a gift to Odessa High School for winning the state championship. The stadium later turned into the home of one of the most storied programs in the state.

"That's Odessa Permian which is 'Mojo', 'Friday Night Lights' everybody knows about," Disler said.

But, hundreds of miles away in Central Texas, Leander High School was growing and needed a new stadium. However at the time their budget would only support a 1,000 seat stadium. So Leander ISD pulled the trigger on a deal that was too good to pass up.

"We bought the stadium from Odessa for $61,000 which is less than what we were going to spend to build our 1,000-seat stadium," Disler said.

Moving a stadium that size across the state was unprecedented.

"We actually hauled it down here on semi-trucks, about 100-trailer loads of steel and we erected 12,000 seats here at Leander High School which was known as Lion's Stadium when it first open in '84," Disler said.

"That's the first time I've heard of it and haven't heard of it since."

So the old Barrett stadium became the new home of the Leander Lions. Its name was later changed to A.C. Bible Jr. Memorial Stadium. The new name honored the longtime school board member who made the stadium move happen and soldiers who died in the armed services.

That original stadium stood until 2007 before it was demolished for the new stadium. But, the district says the memories and big moments here were epic under the Friday night lights.

"That's what brings the community together, Friday night football," Disler said.

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