University creating new intramural field

Regina Shelton

St. Edward’s University is creating a new intramural field on the lawn in front of Teresa Hall.

The $125,000 field, located down the hill from the Mary Moody Northern Theatre and adjacent to Teresa Hall’s sand volleyball court, will be 150 feet wide and 225 feet long. The idea for an intramural field was conceived by the Student Affairs board about two years ago, but was not approved until late last spring by the Landscape & Architecture Committee.

Athletics Director Debbie Taylor said that finding the location for the field was not an easy task considering the size of the campus but Michael Peterson, the director of Physical Plant, said the designated location will be perfect for the plans.

But although the field may look ready, it will not be able to be used because the grassroots need to set in.

“We plan to have the field finished before Christmas break and ready for use sometime in late March or early April,” Peterson said.

The field will also not be fenced-in like the regular athletics fields. Those fields are closed off to non-NCAA athletes because of the high-maintenance Bermuda grass.

The field is going to be left open so that it is inviting for students to stop by and play pick up games at their convenience,” Taylor said. “It will be used longer and more often than current athletic fields.”

Soccer, lacrosse, football and rugby goals will be available at all times on the field, in addition to some bench seating which, according to Peterson, will be placed between the current volleyball court and the new field. Peterson also spoke of another amenity, a water fountain, which will be located on the north side of the field in the general direction of East Hall. No permanent lines will be drawn on the field in order to maximize flexibility for several sports.

That flexibility will also force the current basketball court to be moved behind in the parking lot between Teresa Hall and the Satellite Chiller Plant building, Taylor said.

The Athletics Department and Landscape & Architecture committee are planning to have an official grand opening April 2010, assuming everything goes as planned.

An official name and dedications have yet to be established, and Lemons said that he has yet to get that far into the process.

The new sports field is going to play a large part in assisting Andy Lemons, the first full-time intramural programmer on campus, with expanding and progressing the university’s intramural sports program by giving students a designated and visible location to have practices and host games.

Due to this year’s weak interest in intramurals, Lemons said he had a late start and is working on developing a program that fits the university and appeals to the needs of students on campus. Lemons said that he plans to offer a variety of sport options at two different levels by having a competitive league and a recreational league.

Lemons said he intends to build interest in intramural activities by beginning with a host of drop-in events and figuring out how to get more people to participate. He would also like to see some campus-wide events, like a field day or interactive, opening-week activities, hosted on the new field.

Lemons, who joined the university this September, has 10 years of experience in building recreational sports programs. He recently left UT Southwestern Medical School at Dallas after developing its intramural program.

He hopes all students will take advantage of the new fields after they make appropriate reservations with his office.

“This new field is specifically for the general public student population,” Lemons said

Both Lemons and Taylor added that the athletics teams will not be use the intramural field except in extreme circumstances.

“If the soccer field gets flooded, there is a possibility that the soccer team could end up using the field to practice,” Lemons said. “St. Edward’s sport team members are students on campus too.”

Historically, the university’s athletic fields have been moved around campus for years and have adapted as the university has changed.

“Prior to the construction of Basil Moreau and Dujarie over seven years ago, there were two sports fields in their present location,” Taylor said.

The Dallas Cowboys were the most famous occupants of those athletics fields. The team held training camp there from 1971 to 1997. During the construction of the residence halls, St. Edward’s soccer teams practiced off-campus for an entire year until the current soccer field was complete.

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