by Gloria Li
This fall, the Walnut Street and Lowell Avenue fields opened. All sports teams that were previously practicing off campus during construction have returned.
The Walnut Street field, which is currently used by varsity field hockey, was initially to be opened in the fall of 2010. However, due to drainage problems, the field could not be opened until this fall.
Similarly, the opening of the Lowell Avenue field, which is used by boys’ and girls’ soccer, was delayed due to drainage problems.
Athletic director Tom Guisti praised the Newton Recreation Department for its “outstanding” performance in preparing the new fields for the fall season.
“When you walk outside the facilities, it is great to see all the student athletes practicing and finally playing games on their home fields,” Guisti said. “Now that we are using all the fields on campus, I feel as if more members of the faculty, students and other teams will demonstrate their Tiger Pride by supporting each other. They will probably attend a game or two throughout the fall season.”
Guisti said that the responsibility of having to juggle scheduling the games and practices off campus for the past two years has been hectic. “If I could have had one wish granted I would ask for the field to be finished,” he said.
Girls’ soccer coach James Hamblin has worked with girls soccer in the new building as well as the old building.
“Having access to the grass field has been great. It’s onsite and easier for the varsity players, ” he said.
With the new fields, girls soccer no longer has to share practice space with other teams, according to Hamblin. “Last year, we didn’t have enough space to work on tactical adjustments during practices without planning way in advance,” he said.
Assistant girls’ soccer coach Leigh Paris said that during construction, the the team played at Cold Spring Park. Because the Cold Spring Park fields were in poor condition, practices and games were often canceled when the fields became muddy after it rained, according to Paris. “It is great to have a brand new field that drains, and we don’t have to worry about deep holes and flooding on the field,” Paris said.
During construction, girls’ soccer practiced at Cold Spring Park and played home games on the multi-purpose field, according to Paris. “Using the same practice field as a game field is significantly better in that it improves consistency.”
Senior Jordyn Mathews, a girls’ soccer captain with seniors Taylor Chinitz and Madison Nadeau, said she enjoys that practices are now much easier to commute to because she no longer has to travel by bus to Cold Spring Park.
“It’s nice and definitely more convenient that we have more time to change and can end early,” she said.
With the completion of the Walnut Street and Lowell Avenue fields, construction on the new building is complete.