Last Ride on the Range

Jake Phillips, left, hugs VHS head coach Richard Pettus after the football team’s final game at The H.G. Morse Range on Friday at The Villages High School.

The H.G. Morse Range was what it’s always been on a Friday night.

A teacher of lessons, a host of resiliency, an ode to community.

And it was home.

But it was each of those things just one last time, as The Villages High School football team took to The Range for its 105th and final game in the on-campus stadium’s 20-year history. Next fall, VHS will open its new campus approximately 20 miles to the south, where a stadium awaits with the capability to grow to 10,000 seats.

The Buffalo closed their 2022 season — and their two-decade stay at The Range — with a 40-24 loss to Wiregrass Ranch, but you wouldn’t have known that by the postgame scene on this historic evening.

Former players, coaches and support staff that donned the “V” took to the field to bid the venue farewell, while current players in the program took some extra time to appreciate the ground that it was built on.

Members of the community, Buffalo Booster Club representatives and local business owners alike took a moment to enjoy the place where they’ve invested so much of their free time.

Read this story and many others in Sunday's edition of the Daily Sun.