Turf fields shape community’s future


Kishan Patel

With his team on its way to an 8-7 victory, senior varsity defender Mark Bower knocks his opponent down in a crucial stop late in the fourth quarter against Saint Peter and Paul on April 17. Later that month on April 24, the lacrosse program hosted Youth Day for 175 local middle school lacrosse players to show that JC should be an option for them for high school.

On Oct. 20, Dixie Construction began installing two turf fields in place of the football and field hockey fields.

The fields were finished over the course of spring break and the first games were held in April.

Women’s varsity lacrosse played the first game on Field 2 on April 7, and fell 6-8 to McDonogh.

Men’s varsity lacrosse played the first game on Field 1 on April 10, and defeated Park School 10-6.

Now that the turf fields are being used everyday for spring sports practice, JC isn’t the only program to use the turf fields. Non-JC teams have rented the field for practice and weekend tournaments.

Local organizations rent the field as well. The Daily Bulletin lists who has rented the fields and what times they are being used. However, students are not allowed to use the fields unless they have rented the field with administrative supervision present because of legal obligations.

On April 17, JC lacrosse hosted Youth Day where 175 middle school lacrosse players came to play on the new turf field. Afterwards, they first attended a cookout and watched the Patriots play.

The motivation behind Youth Day was to show that JC should be an option for Harford County middle school lacrosse players that will be attending high school.

“We’re competing with some of the big schools like Calvert Hall, Boys Latin, and St. Paul’s because the turf field brings the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade [prospect] teams to JC,” varsity head lacrosse coach Brian King said. “It makes us a part of the community instead of being a secluded school, and it gives the kids in the Bel Air area a nearby place to play lacrosse.”

Don Reynolds, class of ‘89, rents the turf field for his club program, Thunder Lacrosse. He coaches the fourth through eighth grade teams for the program.

“It’s a beautiful facility, and it’s great to be able to have all four of our teams in one place for practice,” Reynolds said. “A lot of people have also come to campus for the first time in decades to see the progress.”

Thunder Lacrosse also used to rent the grass field for practice.

“It’s been a learning curve for renting the turf. It was easier [to rent] with the grass, but it’s also more understandable because we practice on a great field now,” Reynolds said.

Currently, three former Thunder Lacrosse players in the freshman class are involved in the lacrosse program, but because of the turf fields and community King is building in the Harford County area, the 2019 age group for Thunder Lacrosse includes eight players coming to JC next year as freshmen.

“The field really shows [the school’s] commitment to expand in all sports,” Reynolds said. “It’s a commitment to the school and to the community.”

Correction: In the print Issue 5 of this publication the caption incorrectly labeled the defender as senior Brad Smith. The defender is actually senior Mark Bower.

Eric Johnson is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.