Turf Fields Aid Performance for All Cougars

James Fisher, Staff Writer

Sophomore Mary Bove captures a multi-colored sunset over Mangelsdorf Field after a football scrimmage after the first year orientation day of service on Saturday, August 25.

Work began in fall 2011 to prepare for a brand new era at Misericordia University. With a year left until the official beginning of the school’s first ever football program, changes were needed to  athletic fields and complexes to ensure that both the football team, and other fall and spring athletics, had the best possible playing surface.

Fast forward a year later , and the new fields and athletic facilities are complete and looking perhaps even better than expected. The changes include an improved Mangelsdorf Field as well as the new field house  and a baseball diamond now named Tambur Field. The practice field, which is  renamed Mary Ellen “Mac” McGeehan Field after former Misericordia student Mary Ellen “Mac” McGeehan,  also received new turf to accommodate rigorous practices and to  serve as an extra playing field if needed.

Mangelsdorf Field, the university’s primary playing field since 2002, received probably the most notable upgrade because it plays host to the majority of outdoor sports, including  men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse, field hockey, and track & field. The changes include a brand new turf surface with extra padding, bleachers that seat up to 1,000 people on the home side and 500 on the visiting side, a new press box and new lights. The  changes and  additions to the Mangelsdorf Field cost the school a total $700,000.

Now that the fall season has officially begun, players are warming up to their new digs.

David Stoner, a junior and starter for the men’s soccer team in the back and midfield, said the new turf has not affected his play.

“It hasn’t really done anything good or bad because we’ve played on turf before, but it’s more convenient,” Stoner said.

Some students may not be familiar with a turf playing surface, having only played on a grass surface, but Stoner said if he had the option of choosing either grass or turf, he would take the turf.

“I prefer turf because it’s pretty consistent,” Stoner said. “I like grass except it can get bad quick if you don’t maintain it.”

Some veteran players  say they have noticed the significant difference between the old Mangelsdorf Field and the new in regards to the feel and texture of the turf padding.

Terra Hall, a junior and defensive player for the women’s field hockey team, said she noticed the difference in feel right away.

“It hasn’t been padded down as much as the other one,” said Hall. It’s different to play on than the other turf so you can tell the difference, but it’s not bad.”

When Misericordia announced the complete makeover of Mangelsdorf and Mac Fields, Hall said she was ecstatic to hear of the new upgrades, but at the same time was a bit nervous as to how it might affect her performance.

“I was excited about it because the turf before was old and used,” Hall said. “But then again I was nervous because it would take a while to get padded down field hockey wise.”

Next to the new Mangelsdorf is the new John & Mary Metz field house, named after John and Mary Metz, which cost $4.1 million. It includes separate locker rooms for all the fall and spring sports, a football locker room that will also be the baseball locker room in the spring, as well weight rooms, meeting rooms, and visitor locker rooms.

At the very end of the new athletic complex is the new baseball diamond, Tambur Field. The original diamond, originally located at the site of the new Michael and Tina MacDowell Hall, took damage from harsh rainfall during the spring of 2011, causing the baseball team to relocate to Swoyersville for the majority of that season and all of last season.

Junior pitcher and infielder Gabe Noyalis said the new diamond is a looker–as great as any other baseball field he’s seen.

“It’s beautiful,” said Noyalis. “After seeing some good fields it definitely ranks up there.  ,he grass is green as possibly can be,” Noyalis said.”

The baseball team will not have to wait too much longer to try out their new playing field, with the short fall baseball season only little over a month away.  Noyalis said the location of the new Tambur Field is convenient, and that it couldn’t be in a better location on campus.

“It’s not in the way of anything,” said Noyalis. “It’s behind the new field house and I think it’s the better location for the baseball field.”

The grand total of the athletic upgrades with the new field surface, new baseball diamond, and the  Michael and Tine MacDowell Hall is $19 million.