For those who have been pushing for investment into the schools’ athletic facilities, these votes represent the culmination of years of work and signify a victory that will carry far more weight than any championship banner could.
No longer will the Pentucket track team have to go an entire season without hosting a home meet. No longer will the Newburyport field hockey team have to play its games in Amesbury. No longer will all of Newburyport’s spring teams have to spend all of March practicing indoors because the grass fields are still saturated with the melting snow.
Newburyport High School athletic director Bob Clarke made a point to add that the new field won’t just help the school’s athletic programs, but the physical education department and youth leagues as well.
Similarly, Pentucket athletic director Dan Thornton said the school’s new track and tennis courts will be open to the public, meaning anyone in town who wants to go for a run or pick up a racquet will have the opportunity to use the facilities as well.
These projects will be expensive, and in a time when budgets are tight and sacrifices have to be made, it would be easy to argue that the money would be better spent elsewhere. But consider all the good that sports do for our children — and then take one look at War Memorial Stadium — and it’s clear that these investments are worth making.