Andrade and Michael Consoli of Methuen said there was tremendous enthusiasm during the walk because the money raised was going toward the athletic field. Before the walk, the student council made a presentation about the project.
“There was a gasp in the crowd when we showed them the rendering,’’ said Consoli, a member of the Raiders football team who also runs track in the winter and spring. “During the walk, there was absolutely more excitement and enthusiasm than usual.’’
Although he will not play on the new turf because he is graduating in May, Consoli is still excited about the project.
“There’s nothing like standing on the 50 yard line in your own field and looking at the home crowd,” he said.
DiFiore said Central teams have relied on the generosity of many people so they can use other fields to play games. There are some advantages to that, including bonding with teammates during the bus ride. Disadvantages include spending too much time traveling to and from games and paying for bus service.
Due to the number of fans who attend Central varsity football games, the team will continue playing its home games at nearby Veterans Memorial Stadium, DiFiore said.
“We still need the stadium and we still need Lawrence,” he said.
DeFillippo said Central Catholic rents field space in Lawrence and Amesbury and as far away as Windham, N.H.
DiFiore is thrilled the school is building its own field.
“It’s overwhelming that this is happening,’’ he said. “I get emotional thinking about it. This is going to be such a huge opportunity for the school and students.”
With the new field, Central Catholic athletic programs will be able to host 85 home games each year.
“This is not just a way for us to beautify the campus, but a unique opportunity to improve the city,” said Michael Torrisi, chairman of the Central Catholic Board of Directors.