Newly Renovated Trentini Opens After Two-Year Construction Project

The stadium’s rich history goes further back than WF High athletics to 1939 and WF University’s Groves Stadium

Crumbling, cracked concrete is now pristine and white. After decades of rain, wind and sun beating down on the historical Trentini Stadium, a revamp was in order. 

Trentini Stadium, known initially as Groves Stadium, was opened in 1939 as the home of Wake Forest University’s football team. At that time, the stadium could seat 20,000 fans.

After Wake Forest University’s move to Winston-Salem, Groves stadium became Wake Forest High and eventually Wake Forest Rolesville (WFR) High School’s new home stadium in 1957. 

Groves stadium was dedicated in 1976 to a former Wake Forest University player and a Wake Forest High football coach, Anthony Trentini.

Although the stadium was rebuilt from the ground up, Trentini retained its original character and historical value after the renovation. 

“They did a magnificent job as far as maintaining the original structure, the base. I feel like it didn’t lose any of its traditional or old-time appeal, knowing that Wake Forest played there, the University, at the beginning. I went in there, and I thought to myself, ‘This feels just like it did before.’ That was my biggest concern because you never know with the school system, and what little money they have, what will happen,” former WFR football player and current English teacher Justin Richards said. 

While many people were focused on the stadium retaining its originality, Head Track Coach Patrick Marshall noticed improved details related to his sport that brought the stadium up to date.

“We have a new training surface. The rubber is fresh and does not have any holes in it.  The old track had worn down in multiple spots and had some holes and cracks in it. The extra two lanes will help with practice spacing. Often in the past, we had trouble fitting everything on the old six-lane track during practice. It will also give us the ability to host larger meets. We can now be hosts for the conference meet, Wake County meet or do our own invitational in the future. We are just waiting on the field events to be completed and our new mats and hurdles to arrive,” Marshall said. 

The main reason for the renovation was safety. Sections of seating were crumbling and chunks of concrete were falling out. Former WFR football player and current football coach Jamie Holland is grateful for the chance to restore this stadium to its former glory.

“I think with us being a three-time state champion and then teams coming in here and having an old stadium, it was not a good look. I just thank Wake County for renovating that stadium. The last couple years we were playing here and one whole section was roped off. It’s not a good look,” Holland said. 

Both athletes and students are happy with the renovations. 

“It still has the old feel to it, but it looks new and revamped. I think it has an awesome atmosphere and vibe to it,” senior football player Kyle Leary said. 

While many agree that the new stadium does a wonderful job of capturing the historical aura of Trentini stadium, teachers and coaches still see room for improvement.

“I think really well. I think that the quality of it matches the quality of the school, both now and in the past. One thing that Geoff Belcher has kind of talked about is putting maybe a mural in. There’s a big wall facing underneath where the field house is, on the home side of the stadium. There’s this big concrete wall on it, that he kind of talked about eventually putting a mural in there. Something to represent the town, which I think is a really nice touch,” Science Teacher and former soccer coach Elias Zaytoun said.