SPARTA, NJ – The community was introduced to the new turf field at Sparta High School on Monday night. The board of education adjourned to go across the street for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Invited guests, students and community members gathered on the new concrete walkway, as Superintendent Michael Rossi made a few remarks.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Rossi said acknowledging “many eras” and “several board of education” that tried to get the field built. Thanking the people for coming out Rossi handed a huge pair of scissors to Austin Castorina Sparta High School football team captain.
Students from all six sports; girls and boys soccer, girls and boys lacrosse, field hockey and football and the marching band were assembled to be part of the ceremony. With a cut and a cheer the field was open and everyone walked out onto the field, looking around and taking photos. As the sun set the new lights took over.
The students from all sports had a lot to say about the field.
“I love it,” Alli McGuire said.
“It’s about time we had a turf field,” player Audrey Krajicek said.
“It’s cool to be able to play under the lights,” Brook Serovich said.
“I think this will bring the school and the town together,” Faith Stewart said.
“I’m looking forward to graduating in the turf,” Stephanie Villar said.
“Sparta athletics is taking over,” Gregory Puszcz, President of the Executive Student Council said.
“It’s absolutely awesome,” Castorina said. “The atmosphere at Friday night games is going to be great.”
“I’m honored to be able to be part of the awesome field,” Sam Buschay said.
“It’s beautiful,” Timmy Semper said. “It will be a lot of fun to be on the field as a school.”
“I think it’s going to be a great experience to play under the lights,” Noah Faria said.
“It’s a beautiful field,” Brandon Smith said. “I feel blessed to be part of Sparta High School football.
“I think Sparta is a great football town and the field will add to the excitement,” Matt Struble said.
“I feel like this year we have a good environment for all sports to have a great season,” Joe Batton said.
“This football team is a blessing,” Joey Liotta said. “Sparta High School is one of the best teams I’ve ever played on. With the new field the 2019 season is truly beginning. Let’s go Sparta.”
Rossi said there was still a little work to be done. The audio system and video scoreboard had to be finished, along with some work to the ticket booths and some fencing. He said it will be ready for kickoff on Friday, September 13.
"It was wonderful to see so many community members celebrate this exciting occasion along with many of our students and staff," Supervisor of Special Services Adrienne Castorina said.
"I would just like to extend my well wishes to our teams this year for a successful season," Supervisor of Pupil Personnel Services Saskia Brown said. "I look forward to cheering them on."
The field hockey team will play the first game on the field on Wednesday, September 4 against North Warren Regional beginning at 4 p.m. Boys soccer will take the turf on Friday, September 6 at 4 p.m. against Pope John. Girls soccer will have their first turf game on Monday, September 9 against Montville High School. The varsity football home opener will kick off at 7 p.m. on September 13.