The men’s lacrosse team hosts nine games at the new Stamps fields this season, and club president Alex Roe is excited about the improvements that were made while they were under construction.
“They’re great, they’re so much better [than the old fields],” Roe said. “The old fields were constantly a source of complaints, and these new fields are better for our knees and it just makes teams want to come play us.”
The Roe Stamps Fields reopened earlier this month after an eight-month closure for construction. The old turf that covered the fields was replaced by a much higher quality material, and a running track was installed around the outer edge of the fields. The fields are needed quite frequently, as several club teams on campus use the fields both for practice and hosting games, and every intramural sport that involves a field is played there.
Along with the lacrosse team, the rugby and ultimate teams will also use the field. The teams will use the fields up to four times a week for practice and may host as many as three home games on the weekends.
Roe feels that the biggest improvement is the surface of the fields.
“Before it was just concrete and a little bit of carpet, and now there’s actually this turf that you can dig into with your cleats and it just feels more like real athletic fields,” Roe said.
Roe laments the missed time with the fields while they were closed, explaining that the team would practice at some local high school fields and focus on conditioning at the CRC in the fall.
“It would’ve been nice to get in the work in the fall, so maybe we’re a little bit behind where we’d like to be,” Roe said. “But at the same time it gave us some more motivation to really hit the ground running this semester and work hard once we got access to the fields again.”
Roe expressed his appreciation of the Institute for providing the fields, stating that by doing so, Tech is showing its commitment to its club sports.
The changes to the fields also affect the intramural program, as the entire year’s schedule had to be altered to accommodate the construction. All field sports were moved to the spring, and some indoor spring sports like basketball were moved to the fall in order to balance the schedule. Two sports were dropped from the program as a result, as there was not enough field availability to fit softball and 4-on-4 flag football this spring.
Matt Schwartz is a fourth year Aerospace Engineering major and has played on over twenty intramural teams during his time at Tech. He expressed similar sentiments about the new fields as Roe, noting that the lights give them an advantage over other fields.
“Last semester when we wanted to practice or play pickup sports, we were limited by what time the sun went down,” Schwartz said. “Especially late in the semester that got to be very early; sometimes I think it was 5:30 or sooner. Now we can play until 12:30 a.m. any day we want.”
He also feels that the improved surface will allow for more competitive intramural games and eliminate the danger of getting burned from sliding on the fields.
“The old fields were essentially just carpet, and this is actual turf with fake grass and rubber pellets that allow you to have really good grip when running around and cutting,” Schwartz said. “It wasn’t as fun to use the old fields because we couldn’t play up to our full potential.”
However, the fields are not perfect. Schwartz feels that the asphalt running track is too close to the field, serving as a potential site of injury. Overall, he feels that the benefits are outweighed by the construction delay.
“In my opinion, it was not worth losing an entire semester for this turf. I love the new turf and I’m very glad that it doesn’t cause rug burn anymore from sliding around on it, but it was not worth losing it for an entire summer and fall,” Schwartz said.