History in the making
Kingswood football teams takes the first steps on school's new field
|WITH THE NEW SCOREBOARD behind them and piles of dirt and construction equipment still surrounding the field, Kingswood football players go through the motions during the teamís first practice on the new turf field on Aug. 11. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
August 16, 2010WOLFEBORO — A new era of Kingswood athletics began on Wednesday Aug. 11, at 5:30 p.m. as members of the Kingswood football team set foot on the school's new turf field for the first practice of the fall season.
With construction still ongoing in the area surrounding the high school and the field, the sight of players and coaches working their way through the first practices seemed to restore a sense of normalcy to the high school campus.
Coach Matt Jozokos fully expected that his team would be traveling to practice the first few weeks of the preseason as the finishing touches were put on the team's future home, but the construction went ahead of schedule and the field was ready for the first day of practice.
"We fully planned on being up at Tuftonboro Central and trying to figure out how to transport all our stuff," said Jozokos. "Until we got the news that we'd be out here."
The Kingswood coach, who lives just down the road from the high school, said he's been by the field just about every other day and has watched the progress as the construction rolled on and when someone forwarded him an aerial shot of the new field, he got a little more excited about the prospect of Friday nights in Wolfeboro.
"I forwarded (that picture) to all the coaches just to get the juices flowing," Jozokos said. "And hopefully (the new facility) is going to get kids to say 'this is something I want to be a part of.'"
While the field itself, along with the bleachers, will be ready for the first game of the season, which is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 3, the locker rooms and bathrooms, which will be located in the new multipurpose building that is quickly taking shape beside the stadium, will not be ready until December. The kids will continue to use the locker rooms in the high school and there will be portable toilets on site for one more year.
"Obviously this will just get better over time as things get finished," Jozokos said. "As you start to use the different pieces."
Jozokos praised the work of the construction companies that have worked on the field and the area surrounding the field, giving his team a chance to get out on the new turf earlier than expected.
"They've done a tremendous job getting it ready," the Knight coach said. "You can see it on the guys' faces already."
Jozokos also expressed his gratitude to the community, both as a coach and a teacher at the high school.
"We're thankful to the community for putting its support behind the whole package, including the athletic facilities," he said. "This will be the best facility, second to none.
"It's something for everyone to be proud of," he continued.
"It's a huge day," said Kingswood Athletic Director Andrea Ogden as she watched the students take to the turf for the first time.
Because the area is still a construction zone, people are not allowed to watch practice from around the field or in the bleachers.
A test of the new lighting system was set for this past Friday nights and Ogden was hoping to have the control panel in place soon for the new scoreboard, which sits directly across from the new stadium bleachers and press box.
The remainder of the high school's outdoor fall sports teams will be practicing off site, with field hockey and soccer at The Nick. Both soccer teams and the field hockey team will have a couple of games on the new field during the season as well.