Groundbreaking moment finally arrives

Steven Rissotto '20, Sports Editor

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Steve Mayer ’72, Michael Mayer ’71, Steve Herrera ’76, Brian Spiers ’75, Philip Cazahous ’70, Jack Fitzpatrick, and Bob Gellert Board President Grassilli prepare for the ceremonial first dig of the field.

 

An exciting moment finally happened on May 14, as the Crusader community celebrated the groundbreaking of their new turf and multi-facility field,“Riordan’s biggest classroom,” a nickname dubbed by benefactor Steve Herrera ’76.

The award winning Riordan band greeted guests with a number of their iconic tunes. Athletes from all the sports playing on the field followed behind in a memorable entrance that has been 50 years in the making. In less than 12 months, 1,040 donors contributed $3.1 million into the field project.

“It’s been long awaited. We didn’t have a marching band like this when I was in high school,” said Philip Cazahous ’70 with a laugh, an important donor and mastermind behind some of the school’s biggest projects.

The event was hosted by Director of Development John Ring. Notable guest speakers were President Andrew Currier, Jack Fitzpatrick, Mike Mayer ’71, and Herrera.

Varsity football player Leo Maranghi ’21 said, “I’m excited tosee more alumni come back and infuse more spirit and tradition.”

At the beginning of Herrera’s speech, the sound of a barking dog was heard through the loud speakers. It was none other than former NFL cornerback and alumni Donald Strickland ’98, calling Herrera. It was a moment that signified the history the old field with the likes of lacrosse, baseball, football, soccer, track and field, and cross country, blended with the new.

Herrera said, “This was one of the first places the Riordan brotherhood was developed and I believe that the lessons learned here will last a lifetime, and almost as long as the friendships you make.”

The four speakers, including 2018 Chaminade Award Winner Cazahous, were there to help break ground on a dirt mound with golden shovels.

Associate Athletic Director Jay’sen Morris ’07 played and coached football on the field. Hesaid, “It’s a new look out here.The look of the field is improving and that means things are going well at Riordan.”