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District Christens New Athletic Field

Staff gather around for the ribbon-cutting ceremony with varsity football team members. thumbnail206475

The varsity football team stepped onto the new turf football field for the first time in a much-anticipated debut for the upgraded athletic complex at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School. A ribbon-cutting ceremony preceded the Rocks final game of the season, with board of education trustees, administrators, teachers, students, parents and village officials coming together to celebrate.

The marching band performed as the crowd gathered and cheerleaders also brought some extra energy to an already exciting moment. Superintendent Lisa Ruiz said many people worked very hard to ensure that the field would be ready for at least one football game this season. She said that the “soft opening” will be followed by a larger celebration in the spring, as some finishing touches must still be completed.

Upgrades to the athletic complex were approved by the community in a 2018 facilities bond. Principal Richard Schaffer said that the field will be used by all students for athletic events, physical education classes, movie nights, graduation and more.

After remarks from Ms. Ruiz, Mr. Schaffer and Board of Education President Kristen O’Hagan, school officials cut the ribbon, joined by football captains Mike Kilgus and Jack Mistretta. The team then ran out onto the field to warm up for its afternoon matchup against Cold Spring Harbor. Following them were dozens of alumni who came to admire the new field with its bright orange end zones.

“It’s a momentous occasion,” Ms. Ruiz said. “This is an exhilarating time for our school community. We have literally changed the landscape of this campus with the beautiful and resilient new athletic complex.”