Answers to Athletic Frequently Asked Questions

Lacrosse on Spinelli

Why is it that the lacrosse teams at Mount Anthony are not allowed to play night games on Spinelli Field?

There are several concerns that come into play regarding this request. The most important issue is that the field needs to recover from a very rigorous fall season. We play up to 14 football games (Varsity, JV, Freshman) and an additional 18-20 boys and girls varsity soccer games. When MAYAA football has completed its Super Bowl game in early November, the field is left with little grass and in need of serious work. Early May is an essential time of year to aerate, fertilize and seed this field in order to have it ready for the fall season in late August.

After considerable research and discussion with other athletic directors around the state faced with a similar dilemma, the decision to restrict all athletic team use of Spinelli Field in the spring has been supported by the director of maintenance, the principal, the superintendent and the school board.

Several schools have experimented with the concept of playing lacrosse on their football field and have been adamant on their stance not to continue this practice because their fields have not recovered in time to be ready for fall games. There was also concern about safety in regards to playing night games in lacrosse. The small size of the ball and the speed in which it travels poses a liability issue due to poor visibility. In addition, Zemianek Track, which surrounds Spinelli Field, is used each day in the spring for Track & Field practice.

While it has been pointed out that playing ?one? game on the field in May when the field has had a chance to dry would not hurt it, I can not justify the purpose of making an exception to our stance. We are fortunate at Mount Anthony to have an excellent field right across from our campus. The maintenance department has gone to great expense to keep the field in great shape and fund-raising through the athletic department has provided a scoreboard, storage shed and a bathroom facility for this field. The schools that are presently playing games on their football or soccer fields are doing so, reluctantly, because they do not have an option.

We have had numerous requests over the years for use of Spinelli Field by outside groups. Our answer has been consistent because we have stated that the field needs to rest from the numerous athletic events in the fall, and that no groups will be using it. To make an exception for one boys and girls lacrosse game would open the door to requests by other groups.

I realize this decision is not going to be a popular one. I have been given a shared responsibility in safeguarding one of the athletic department?s biggest expenditures (we spent over $100,000 to overhaul and re-sod the field eight years ago). Until the school board approves putting artificial turf on Spinelli Field (over $700,000) and it is proven that we have sufficient lighting to even consider playing lacrosse under the lights, it would be irresponsible to reverse the present policy in place.

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