The refreshing smell of lush green turf pellets has circulated throughout the WHS campus as the final touches are made to the new Proctor Field. Beginning in May, WHS and its partner construction company R.A.D. Sports worked diligently to remodel Weston’s premier athletic facility.
“Our student athletes and the town of Weston deserve a nice facility,” athletic director Michael McGrath said.
The deterioration of the old field has affected numerous sports teams at WHS.
“We are one of the few school systems that only has one turf field,” McGrath said.
Head football coach Richard Brissette believes the renovation was necessary due to the high costs of maintaining the original grass surface on Proctor Field. He noted that this new synthetic turf field will reduce the need for routine field maintenance that a grass field requires.
“When we move from natural to synthetic grass, maintenance costs are substantially lower and more teams can play on it without wearing the field out,” Brissette said. I think there’s a lot of factors to this renovation, but to me that’s one of the biggest factors, ultimately the cost of maintenance.”
Senior football captain Andrew Black said that his team is excited to have a home game on their own field after playing their home games at The Rivers School and Waltham High School this past season.
“I can speak for everyone on the team in saying that we are sitting on the edges of our seats waiting for the field to be ready,” Black said.
Black credited McGrath on his work to finalize this turf in preparation for the annual Thanksgiving Day football game.
“Mr. McGrath told the team what our options were and let us choose the location of our home games,” Black said. “But with all this crisscrossing of ‘home fields,’ it makes us really eager to get on the new field and play our first game there.”
Head Track and Field coach John Monz said the newly resurfaced track will make competition safer for student athletes.
“The new facility will benefit our athletes in several important ways,” he said. “The new running surface should reduce the pounding and stress on our athletes’ lower legs and reduce injuries.” Monz is also looking forward to the opportunities that these field improvements will provide to his track and field team.
“To compete at home again will be appreciated by all,” Monz said. “We will have first-class field event facilities [and] also be able to host some of the bigger competitions, such as the Twilight Meet, the DCL Championship, and some MIAA events.”
Senior Cross Country and Track and Field Captain Kathryn Augustine notes that the new track and field facility will not only provide the Wildcats with a great training facility but will also provide a new home track for meets in the spring.
The reigning DCL Small Champion Boys Outdoor Track team, as well as the Co-DCL Small Champion Girls Track team, hasn’t had a home meet for the past two years.
“It was definitely necessary to build a new track and field because it got to the point where we couldn’t even host home meets. The track was falling apart so much and it was considered dangerous to run on,” Augustine said.
The renovated facility will also benefit the greater Weston community since everyone can use it.
“The renovation adds bathrooms near the track, which we didn’t previously have. I think more adults in the community will now use the track knowing that they have a brand new facility,” Black said.
McGrath is especially grateful to the town residents he worked with to get this project completed.
“The project was completely town-funded and this is why I think it’s very important for those who live in the town to understand that it’s for all town residents,” McGrath said. “Everyone can be proud of it.”