EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 2, 2014

Raiders getting a field of their own

Central Catholic High plans $2M sports complex

LAWRENCE — Ernie DiFiore couldn’t be more excited about Central Catholic High School’s plan to build a new athletic field by September.

“I can’t wait until I can stand on it because it’s a dream come true,’’ said DiFiore, who has been Central’s athletic director for the past two years. “I’ll be doing snow angels.’’

Central will build a $2 million, 500-seat, lighted stadium at the corner of Hampshire and Auburn Street next to the school. The area has a teachers’ parking lot, which will be reduced in size to make room for the artificial turf field. The school’s main parking lot will not be changed.

The new field is where Central’s girls and boys soccer, boys and girls lacrosse and field hockey teams will practice and play. The freshman and junior varsity football teams will also play there, while the varsity football team will continue to play its home games at Lawrence’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. The new field will not have a running track due to a lack of space.

The school was founded in 1935, but never had its own athletic field, forcing Central athletes to play many of their “home” games away from home.

“One of the things which has always been a hope for anyone who has been a part of the school is to have home games at home,” said Brother Richard Carey, president of the school.

“It has always been, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had our own facility ... so the athletes can feel the same excitement and fun?’ ‘‘ he said of what teams from other schools enjoy. “Now we’ll be able to have that this fall.”

Having their own stadium will also motivate Central students to attend sporting events.

“It’s going to be part of the school spirit,” Carey said.

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