Sports teams don’t have home fields: how are they all managing?



The lack of homefields has caused many teams to adapt to fields and even have to share them in certain cases.

Every day after school, cleats pound turf and grass fields as sports teams practice or compete in games.

Over the past few years, some sports teams have faced challenges because of the lack of home field space.

Junior Nikhil Mitra, a player on the varsity football team, said that the current football team practice field arrangement is not ideal and that they often only have half of the field for practice.

“We use Downes field for practices but can only use half of the field because the other half is for field hockey,” Mitra said.

Mitra said that when the field hockey team plays home games at Downes, the football team must instead use the adjacent grass field, which prevents the team from getting adequate practice and leads to dangerous field conditions for players.

“The coaches tend to play it safer on those days. There is a much higher risk for injury, not only because of the switch from turf to grass, but also because the grass is uneven,” Mitra said.

Mitra said that he thinks that the varsity football team’s game field, Parsons, is a great facility.

“For varsity, we play at Parsons Field and that doesn’t affect us too much. However, it is interesting that we have to play at Northeastern’s field because we don’t have our own,” Mitra said.

Emily Hunt, the field hockey coach and a wellness teacher, said that Downes Field is well-used and busy within the community, which keeps their practices on a tight schedule.

“There’s always an army of youth soccer players that come on right at 5:30 p.m. so we have to be mindful of being on and off the field in time,” Hunt said.

Hunt said that this year, the field hockey field arrangement is actually much better than in past years.

“This is my fourth year coaching and this year is the first year that we have actually been able to have all our games on the turf, so there have been no conflicts this year with junior varsity and freshman football, although they also play their home games at Downes,” Hunt said.

Hunt said that field hockey is sometimes a forgotten sport and that she wished they had made Cypress Field into a turf homefield because that could have helped both her field hockey team and the larger high school athletic community.

“It would have been even better if they had made the field of Cypress turf because then the visibility and team spirit would be even better. Being at Downes field, we are just a little removed,” Hunt said. “A home field at Cypress would also have helped teams with large amounts of equipment like the football team.”

Sophomore Yuval Levy, a player on the junior varsity girls soccer team, said the team has faced many challenges at Warren Field, where they conduct practices and compete in games alongside their male counterparts on the boys junior varsity team.

“The field is not full size, and I think that the only non-full-size field we have played on this year has been our own,” Levy said. “The main issue with the field is that it is interrupted by a baseball diamond, which affects the players because it is inefficient and detracts from the playing of the sport. It’s also not a particularly convenient location for a lot of people to access and involves standing or sitting on the grass or on the baseball diamond.”

Despite field arrangement issues, Mitra, Hunt and Levy said that their teams have still been able to generate positive team spirit that has helped all the players.

“The team has great team spirit,” Mitra said. “The players that are on the team are there to be on the team and play the sport but also to be with the people and the community that comes with it.”