By Joseph D’Alfonso
The author, Joseph D’Alfonso, is a sophomore at Bishop Hendricken High School. He played freshman football last season.
Following a summer 2016 approval, Warwick’s Bishop Hendricken High School has recently installed a new turf field, along with a state-of-the-art LED scoreboard. SPRINTURF, a leading manufacturer and installer of synthetic turf, began installation on June 12 and finished on July 15. The new scoreboard was installed by Scoreboard Enterprises, a Mansfield-based corporation that Hendricken has hired for all scoreboard installations since the school’s first scoreboard was erected over 25 years ago. It was manufactured, however, by Daktronics, and features a high-tech video screen, a first for Hendricken facilities. The board is sponsored by numerous investors, of which Flood Ford was the first and largest.
Hendricken’s previous turf was removed following nearly twelve years of action. A plethora of championships were won during the field’s era, including seven consecutive football titles, two lacrosse crowns, and three Massachusetts rugby victories. A number of athletes who competed on the field went on to play in college and do great things in sports, including 2017 graduate Kwity Paye, former football captain and current Michigan player.
Hawk head football coach Keith Croft reflected on some of these memories on the turf, stating, “We’re all really excited [for the new field], but it’s a little bittersweet for me. I was an assistant when the old field was put in over 10 years ago, and that was state of the art at the time. We had so many games and memories on that old field.”
Hendricken president John Jackson reiterated some of Croft’s fond remarks about the old field, but further added that the updated facilities will allow students an opportunity to create memories of their own.
“There were a lot of great memories [with the old field], and we’ll be looking to make new ones on the new field,” said Jackson. “There will be a great opportunity for upcoming kids to make their own memories in football, soccer, lacrosse and rugby.”
Jackson also hopes that the new cutting-edge facilities will help to draw more alumni to school events.
“It will definitely be a source of pride for alumni, especially for those who played with the holes in the grass field for all those years,” Jackson said. “This is an exciting new beginning.”
Hendricken athletic director Paul Alianiello echoed many of Jackson’s sentiments about the opportunity provided by the field, stating that “…once again, Hendricken leads the way in providing the finest athletic facilities to our student athletes. Hopefully there will be many great memories made on the new field over the next decade.”
Hendricken’s football and soccer teams will be the first groups to make use of the new field this fall.
Croft and the Hendricken football team, coming off of another state title last season, hope to add to their epic championship streak this fall. They’ll take the field for the first time on September 15, when they square off against Providence’s La Salle academy at 7 p.m.
Hawk soccer will see its first home game on September 12, when they face Central Falls. Unlike the football team, soccer hasn’t seen a state title in nearly twenty years. This year, however, Coach Michael “Mickey” Rooney and his squad will seek to change their fates on the new turf.
“The kids are thrilled,” said Croft of having the opportunity to play on the new field. “We’re all looking forward to it. The whole athletic department is going to benefit from it.”
YurView will present LaSalle Academy @ Bishop Hendricken Football Friday, September 15, 2017 Live at 7:00PM ET on Cox Channels 4 and 1004.