A celebratory groundbreaking for the new artificial turf at Patterson Field enthused Trustees, alumni, student athletes, faculty and staff March 17 in a festive ceremony as the Ursinus Bear cheered on. President Jef Corson noted that almost two-thirds of Ursinus students play on a team or in an intramural sport so use of the field is high. President-elect Bobby Fong spoke on the importance of balance in Division III athletics.
The Turf Field and Stadium Improvement Project will enhance Ursinus Athletics, Director of Athletics Laura Moliken explained. It will allow for year-round use of the field for football, lacrosse, rugby and soccer, as the NCAA now permits non-traditional seasons. The track will be resurfaced, lights will be added and the stadium will be renovated.
Senior Vice President of Advancement Jill Marsteller and Committee Chair Michael Marcon 1970 emphasized that artificial turf has become integral to the current football and lacrosse cultures, and Ursinus needs to remain competitive with our Centennial League colleagues. W.G. (Right: Trustee Michael Marcon)
A current student’s viewpoint: Jovani Water is a freshman who plans to major in Business and Economics. But for at least one hour every day, in and out of season, he is devoted to playing football. For this young athlete, the idea of a new turf field is an exciting prospect. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony signifies an important part of staying competitive for Ursinus athletes. Most of the Division III schools they play against have turf fields.
“Having turf fields are very important in many different aspects,” says Waters, who attended Perkiomen Valley High School where the team played on grass fields. “Turf is much safer to play on since it can reduce the tough collisions and impacts with the ground overall reducing injuries as a whole.”
As an athlete, Waters likes turf fields because it eliminates problems when dealing with bad weather. “The frustration of having games postponed or cancelled will be relieved and I feel that each player can perform close to his or her max ability in any weather. Turf fields definitely help with traction and quick movements such as cuts, jukes and spins. From the economic side, it probably can reduce maintenance cost when watering, mowing, and applying fertilizer to a grass field is eliminated. It will also be a bonus to have practice on the turf.” — K.C.