“Why is it important for Dominican College to have a Turf Field?” by Luke Martini, Lacrosse
Lacrosse is the nation’s fast-growing sport and the fastest sport on two feet to this day. It is expanding professionally and nationally every day. Paul Rabil, a well-known pro lacrosse icon, has done a tremendous job at growing the game of lacrosse at the professional level by founding the Pro Lacrosse League in the US. He also is responsible for lacrosse being reintroduced into the next summer Olympic Games. Rabil will also be one of several top players to participate in those games.
One of the most important aspects involved in growing the game of lacrosse has occurred at the collegiate level of play. According to Scholarship Status, approximately 15,300 men compete at either the NCAA Division I,II, or III levels. This huge groundswell of players at the college level is the main focus of the lacrosse community and is producing some of the best players in the country. Every young lacrosse player growing up today has the opportunity to watch top-notch lacrosse programs such as Penn. State University, Maryland University, and Syracuse University. This new generation of players see the advanced skills and abilities of these and other teams and are inspired, hopeful that one day when their time comes to head off to college, that they will be able to put one of those collegiate jerseys on. They dream to compete at the advanced levels that is lacrosse today and strive to get there throughout their high school play. All of these college programs have been highly successful over the years due to several factors. The outstanding coaching staff and great facilities which include a collegiate size turf field, appropriate gym & weight rooms, as well as befitting locker rooms for the players are crucially important and build a solid foundation on which to grow great programs. A decent and proper turf field is an especially important component of the foundation of a great program. The turf field provides for the best, real-game setting team practices. It also provides for an excellent setting to host on-campus home games.
One of the best things about playing college lacrosse at the Dominican College (DC) are the great fans! By living on campus, team players have the opportunity to make friends who will come out to support the team during home games when those games are on campus along with family and friend supporters. Unfortunately, while DC has the coaching staff, players and the raw talent to be successful, our men’s lacrosse team has been struggling to reach our full potential due to the lack of a home turf field and appropriate locker room space. For the first half of our 2019 official season, we had been practicing this full field sport either on a small gravel parking lot (on the DC campus) or in the small DC gym. Trying to fit and conduct practices for a thirty five-man team in a small gymnasium or small parking lot has greatly diminished the success of the practices and really hurt our team on the full field practice aspect of the game. Making the best of the poor circumstances, the team worked on stick work drills and the other up-close aspects of the game but was woefully lacking in the real-game setting practices. Not having an appropriate home field on campus has forced DC to spend large sums of money to rent fields to practice on and play DC “home” games on. The lacrosse team does have a small section of grass behind one of the dorm buildings, but the grass only lasts about one month because of the rigorous amount of wear and tear that occurs on account of the player’s cleats. An artificial turf field is extremely important to the success of our men and women’s sports programs here at DC. A turf field is superior to grass fields in several ways. Turf fields allow for proper drainage providing a very consistent playing surface while grass fields become muddy increasing the risk of player injury and making for a very inconsistent playing surface. Because most other college DII programs have turf fields, our team would be more familiar and better prepared with the consistent turf surface. A full-size turf field would also double the available practice space and allow for both realistic game setting practices as well as simultaneous separate offense and defense practices, shortening the time necessary to accomplish all practice goals. Beyond greatly benefiting the men’s lacrosse team, a new turf field would also benefit many other sports teams and clubs at DC.