PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – The Mike Gavlak Stadium has been the Arnold football team’s home for 20 years, but now it’s going to have a new nickname when the Marlins play there.
“I looked at different names for it, the deep blue, the trench, but when it came down to it, it was the abyss,” Arnold Athletic Director Rick Green said.
The idea came to Green when he was watching old football games and saw the Gators play in their home stadium nicknamed the “Swamp.”
In an effort to get people more ethusiatic about attending home football games, they decided to nickname Gavlak Stadium, “The Abyss.”
“I started researching the Marlins and what Marlins do well they live in deep water, and I started looking up deep water and I saw the word abyss and it said deep gulf well we live on the Gulf so we decided I ran it by Mr. Smith and Coach Vaughan and we decided to call our field ‘The Abyss.’ Any team that comes here we’ll be ready whether you are shallow or deep,” Green said.
Green got to work right away by putting up signs at the stadium before the Marlins first home football game.
The students couldn’t wait to use the new nickname and the pep club was already asking to have shirts made with the name on them.
“I think it makes it a lot more personable to your high school when you have something like and your kids are wearing shirts with the abyss on it, or the tank or the mac, I think it makes it a lot more personal,” Green said.
So far, the new name has brought a lot of good luck to the football team. On Friday night, in their season opener, the Marlins beat South Walton 47-14.
“We are undefeated in the Abyss, we are undefeated in the Abyss,” Green said.
Arnold is on the road this week taking on Bay at Tommy Oliver on Friday, but thet are back in ‘The Abyss’ on Oct. 9 against Rutherford.