DOUGLAS — As the Douglas Bulldogs gear up for the 151st meeting with the Bisbee Pumas Friday, Douglas resident Hector Leon added a little excitement to the rivalry, dropping off at Douglas High School a miniature replica of the football stadium as it was when he attended DHS.
Leon says he spent four months building the replica, going as far as painting all the figurines by hand using microscopic glasses.
The miniature replica will be on display this week inside the main office at DHS.
“Back in April I came up with this idea and wanted to do something that would commemorate both cities,” he said. “This has been such an amazing rivalry for over a quarter of a century. I wanted to make the stadium as I remember it back in the ‘60s.”
Leon says he remembers fans standing all along the fence at DHS and he made sure those fans were represented in his replica. Even the old concession stand that was under the metal bleachers on the DHS side of the field is included.
Leon ran cross country while at DHS but not football and while he never played in the game he was always at the game cheering on the Bulldogs.
“I remember coming back from the trips to Tucson and parking behind the cement side of the stadium,” he said. “We would get off and go into the game and watch until at least halftime.”
Leon states he is very proud of his classmates from the class of 1969.
“They became southern division champions that year so it was special,” he said. “Every time we came in, the stands were just packed. It was full. We only lost one game that year and tied one game. That tie game against Bisbee. I still remember the score, 6-6. I’m glad I was able to do this. This rivalry is what it is because of both communities. I have friends in both communities now.”
DHS principal Melissa Rodriguez said she was struck by the detail Leon put into the replica.
“This is amazing,” she said. “I really appreciate Hector sharing this with us. This shows his passion for the history we have here. That’s one of the things we’re trying to do here at Douglas High School, is bring back or remember old traditions. This kind of fits into everything that we want to bring back to Douglas High School.”