Paint it black (and red).
Administrators from Moore Catholic were joined by a small segment of student-athletes when the school unveiled its brand new state-of-the art football field on Monday. School chaplain Fr. Rhey Garcia blessed the new playing surface and two officers from NYPD community affairs were also in attendance.
The artificial turf is primarily red in color, though the end zones are each painted black, while the lettering, hashmarks, and numbers are stained white to embody the three colors of the Mavericks’ logo, which rests at midfield.
The red playing surface is the only one of its kind in New York state, and likely one of only a handful in the country. It replaces the original green turf, which was installed in the early 2000s.
“The previous turf outlived its life expectancy and we wanted this project for safety, stability, and to give the kids the best we possibly could,” said school president and principal Gina DeSantis. “It benefits the entire school community, not only athletics.
“The community uses this facility,” added DeSantis, who noted that PS 60, New World Prep, and Bishop Ahern HS also use the site.
The plan is to also use it for graduation ceremonies.
The project was initially spawned by former school Athletic Director Kyle McAlarney, though current AD JC Albano saw it through to its fruition.
“It took a serious collaborative effort and for us to be standing on it right now is really exciting,” said Albano. “It provides a safe space for our student-athletes and school community.
“It’s something we’ve all been looking forward to,” he added. “It draws attention. It gives future generations of Mavericks students something to look forward to.”
Albano says the school will install “wind screens” around the field and plans to eventually introduce lights in order to host night games.
Construction on the field began in February and initially was not expected to be completed in time for the spring sports season, but that is no longer the case. The girls’ lacrosse team will be the first to grace the playing surface on April 26, while the football team will follow suit on May 1. The girls’ and boys’ soccer teams will eventually hit the field in the fall.
Since the turf was laid down, there has been plenty of buzz surrounding the unique color scheme.
“We’ve been asked about it,” said DeSantis smiling. “It’s extraordinary. It’s such an exciting time for us.”
“Everyone is excited to play and watch games here,” said senior student-athlete Sabrina Kaffl. “Everyone has been SnapChatting it. It’s part of our school community and something for everyone to support and get involved in.”
Fellow senior Angela LoBello acknowledged the significance of the unveiling.
“It’s really cool, it’s like we’re a part of history,” she said. “To see the whole process of it being put together is really cool.”
Classmates Aldrin Cenobafto, a soccer player, and Nicholas Vega are also excited — though Cenobafto regrets that his season is already over.
“The turf looks and feels so good…I’m still trying to get a friendly [game]!” joked Cenobafto.
“We’re a small school and everyone is one big family,” said Vega. “We’ll come out and support and watch games.”
NOTE: Cardinal Timothy Dolan will visit the Moore Catholic campus on May 17th, when the field will be blessed again.