GUTHRIE — On the south side of Harrison Street, just east of Division, the top of a sandstone wall peaks a few feet above street level.
That 30-foot wall, which has given Jelsma Stadium its nickname — “The Rock” — creates the north boundary for the Oklahoma City area's best high school football stadium.
Jelsma Stadium, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, doesn't have artificial turf. It doesn't have a Jumbotron.
But what it does have can't be expressed in dollars, cents and flash.
“I talk to a lot of Texas people, and they say ‘Oh, my stadium is so big,'” said Kye Staley, a junior fullback at Oklahoma State who starred for Guthrie High School.
“And I'm like, ‘Well, we've got the No. 1 unique stadium in the nation. You can't top that.'”
The sandstone wall keeps noise inside the stadium, making it extremely loud during exciting games.
Guthrie football coach Rafe Watkins said this year's shoot-out with Carl Albert — the Bluejays won 38-35 at Jelsma — is a perfect example of what it's like to be there during an intense football game.
“It's standing room only,” Watkins said.
“I truly believe that was the loudest I've ever heard it in there.
“We realize it's not like when Jenks and (Tulsa) Union play and there are 20,000 or 25,000 people in the stadium. We had about 6,500.
“But the noise coming off the rock wall keeps it in there. The fans are right there on you on the sideline. It's like an arena game.”
The stadium's other unique feature is that the football field and Guthrie's baseball field share grass.
During baseball season, the south goal post is removed, and a temporary fence is added at about the 35-yard line to complete Squires Field.
Over the years, hundreds of Guthrie boys have played both football and baseball in what is essentially the same stadium. One of them was Phil Stephenson, a 1978 Guthrie graduate who played four Major League Baseball seasons with the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.
When he played football for the Bluejays, they weren't the powerhouse they are today. Guthrie has won two football state championships in the last 10 seasons.
“I don't know how much of a home-field advantage we had when I was playing, but when you're good I can see (the rock wall) being a big advantage,” said Stephenson, now the head baseball coach at Dodge City Community College in Kansas.
The stadium sits in the middle of historic downtown Guthrie and is source of pride for the state's first capital.
Much of that pride has to do with when the stadium was built — during the Great Depression era.
City leader Lawrence Jelsma was instrumental in building public support for a year-round recreational field in Guthrie, and in 1935, a $14,500 bond issue was passed.
With that and contributions from the Works Progress Administration, the $48,500 sandstone stadium was built and named after Jelsma, who died in 1934 before ever seeing a game there.
Seven decades later, with Jelsma in desperate need of restoration, Guthrie citizens passed another bond issue to give their beloved stadium a face-lift.
Even with the $3 million-plus reconstruction, Jelsma Stadium retained its quaint, historic feel and uniqueness.
ESPN thought enough of the place to name it the 13th-best high school football stadium in the country in 2008.
Guthrie has spent the 2011 season celebrating the 75th anniversary of Jelsma Stadium's first game, played on Sept. 18, 1936, between Guthrie and Edmond.
The dedication booklet that day called the stadium “one of the finest playgrounds in the state.”
As it turns out, Jelsma Stadium still is.