|THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS||VOLUME XIX NUMBER 1 Fall 2003|
Homecomers Celebrate 'Dream Field' Dedication
Keene State College and the Keene community's soccer 'field of dreams' officially became a reality with the dedication of the grass soccer facility at the Owl Athletic Complex during the College's Homecoming festivities in September.
A project that began four years ago, the Owl soccer complex provides KSC and the Monadnock Region with one of the finest sports facilities in New England.
"We are grateful to all who helped make the soccer facility a reality," said Dr. Ron Butcher, long-time soccer coach at KSC, who got the ball rolling on the project. "The College, community, alumni, and friends supported this $1 million facility. The dedica-tion gave us an opportunity to say 'thank you.'"
Speaking at the dedication, Keene State President Stanley J. Yarosewick praised the commitment and effort of KSC student-athletes, fans, and other friends and supporters. "Today's ceremony honors these extraordinary people and organizations and the wonderful result of their collaboration," he said.
The gift support from alumni, faculty, staff, friends, community businesses, and organizations was nearly $170,000. The press box was sponsored by the Kingsbury Corp., while the Savings Bank of Walpole sponsored the Welcome Center. The N.H. Soccer Association also gave a major gift. Seating section sponsors include Fairfield's Pontiac, Cadillac, Buick; Millwork Masters; the Melanson Company; Keene Gas; and the Fenton Family Dealerships (Honda, Toyota, Volvo and Hyundai).
"One of our primary focal points in our giving is for youth and education," said Scott W. Laughinghouse, senior vice president of the Savings Bank of Walpole. "And certainly this is a place where a good deal of education will take place."
"The Kingsbury-KSC relationship goes back many years," added William Cogger, President and COO of Kingsbury Corp. "In many ways I see the press box as an embodiment of that relationship."
"I never thought I'd say this but I am really grateful that I injured my knee as a junior," quipped Celena Chickering '02, a former captain of the women's soccer team. "It gave me a chance to play on this field. I've played on many soccer fields, and this is by far the best."
In addition to serving as the home of Owl men's and women's soccer teams, the field provides the greater Keene community with the opportunity to host exciting professional soccer games, high school tournament action, youth soccer programs, and numerous championship games.
"Our players are very fortunate to play in such a beautiful facility," said KSC women's soccer coach Denise Lyons '90. "My players have a ritual at the start of the season where they bring the new players and freshmen out to the field around midnight and turn on the lights. It means so much for them to call the field their soccer home."
"It makes us feel good when other teams come in and rave about our facility," Butcher said. "When you go to other fields, you realize how good we have it."
It was only fitting that Dr. Y netted the first ceremonial goal at the newly dedicated field.
– Stuart Kaufman