Tonawanda News

Sports

August 27, 2008

HS SPORTS: St. Joe’s debuts field of dreams

KENMORE — A new era of St. Joe’s athletics was ushered in Wednesday evening, as the Robert T. Scott, AFSC Athletic Field Complex debuted with an official dedication.

A 183,961 square-foot artificial-turf playing surface which will host home games for the Marauders’ football, soccer, lacrosse and baseball teams is the highlight of the new complex. Construction on the $2 million project began May 8.

“To finally look out here and say ‘it’s done’ is a really great feeling,” St. Joe’s athletics director Pete Schneider said. “I was here every day over the summer, and to watch the transformation was exciting.”

St. Joe’s old grass field would turn into a muddy mess after rain storms, including the particularly damaging October Storm. And with freshman, junior varsity and varsity squads looking for practice and game space, use on the field allowed it little time to heal. That will no longer be a problem with the turf, which resembles what the Buffalo Bills play on at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“We’re extremely excited to get our players out here,” Schneider said.

The field is named after Scott, who has spent 37 years at the school as an educator, vice principal and now president and principal. The St. Joe’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution in May to name the field after Scott, who has spearheaded the school’s capital campaign.

Titled “Pride in our Past ... Faith in our Future” the fundraising campaign has brought in nearly $13 million thus far, an unprecedented amount for the school.

The athletic complex is the first completed feature.

“It’s really a great tribute to Bob Scott to have the field named after him,” Schneider said. “He’s done a tremendous job in raising the money to make it possible.”

Schneider also hopes the new facility will appeal to would-be Marauders.

“Hopefully, this will become a great attraction for future St. Joe’s student-athletes,” he said.

The varsity soccer team’s first contest on the field will be held Wednesday against City Honors, while the football team will host Cathedral Prep on Sept. 6.

Contact editor Jay Skurski at 693-1000, ext. 117.

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