The Haverhill High football team kicked off the 2011 season with a night that won't be forgotten anytime soon.

The Hillies renamed historic Haverhill Stadium as Trinity Stadium, then proceeded to trounce Malden 39-12 for their first win since 2008 in front of approximately 1,940 fans.

"It's nice to have a facility we can call home," said Haverhill head coach Tim O'Connor. "Last year we were out back on a grass field, while this year life is just so much easier."

During halftime of Friday's game, Athletic Director Tom O'Brien, Mayor James Fiorentini, School Superintendent James Scully and Trinity EMS President John Chemaly dedicated the stadium.

"A lot of our focus is community service and helping out kids," Chemaly said. "We couldn't think of a better project than to help this brand new renovation. This stadium is going to be brought back to life with our help, and we're proud of that."

Trinity agreed to pay $25,000 a year over the next three years for the stadium naming rights. The money will help maintain the stadium. One reason Trinity was eager to put its name on the stadium is its proximity to Merrimack Valley Hospital.

After prodding from stadium commission members Bill Moynihan and Paul Magliochetti, Chemaly decided to get involved in the bidding for the naming rights and beat out one other bidder.

The renaming of Trinity Stadium is part of larger plan to make the stadium one of the premier venues in the region. The stadium installed synthetic turf last season with help from a $2 million grant from the state. This year the grant money is being used to finish renovating the bleachers. The bleachers were closed during Friday night's game, but O'Brien expects them to be ready by the end of the month.

The city still has about $100,000 of grant money left, and the next step in the stadium's renovations may be to replace the lighting. The center of the field is not well lit, and O'Brien said that Haverhill is in the process of talking to engineering firms about improving the lighting. O'Brien hopes to improve the current light banks and possibly add new banks next to them. Once the design is set, the city will send out a request for bids. O'Brien is optimistic the lighting improvements will be finished by the end of the calendar year.

The stadium has multiple uses, and the field hockey team was scheduled to make its debut on the turf Monday night against Central Catholic. The stadium is also designed so that the baseball team can play on the turf as well.

"People around town are so interested in the stadium," said Moynihan. "It's such a benefit to us, too. It can rain for five days and we can be ready to play on the field in no time."

Moynihan also cited how easy it will be to plow the field once the heavy snows come in.

The opening night became even sweeter for the Hillies as the football team won for the first time in almost three years. Junior running back Chance Brady rushed for 199 yards and three touchdowns, while junior quarterback Tommy Morgan threw for 200 yards with two touchdowns.

The renaming ceremony will not be the last dedication at the stadium this year. O'Brien said will Haverhill will dedicate the field to former coach Harry McNamara, who died in 2010, on a date to be announced.

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