Mayer Family Field ushers in new era for Riordan


Steven Rissotto '20

Members of the football team raise the Stanfel Trophy after winning

Steven Rissotto '20, Editor in Chief

“If we’re gonna start something, we’re gonna start it the right way.”

The words of first-year Crusader football coach Mark Modeste echoed off the neighboring houses and through the new, bright yellow field goal posts. Modeste’s way of “starting something” was having his players take a lap before the first practice on the brand-new turf at Mayer Family Field.

After decades of discussion and donations, the multi-sport complex on Riordan’s campus is finished and ready for business. The new complex includes a newly designed press box, refurbished bleachers and stands, updated baseball facilities, and state of theart artificial turf.

The first football game was planned for Nov. 2, a date that was a fixture on the calendars of many teachers, students and alumni for months. The deadline was questionable, especially since the turf was starting to be rolled out on the week of Oct. 12. It was bound to be tight, but the construction team bolted into action to secure the completion on Nov. 1, in time for the first practice on the new turf.

There is still work to be done, but the completion tag still stands. According to Facilities Director and baseball coach Brandon Ramsey, batting cages and dugout rails are still to be installed.

Before, Modeste would have to bus his team to Gellert Park in Daly City every day for practice. Now, he’s the leader pioneering the first group into prestigious territory.

“We’re just the first ones up,” Modeste said during the first practice. “Baseball, soccer, lacrosse, too. Administration did an amazing job. I always tell our players that this is the group that will remember it when it wasn’t here.

Weeks earlier, board of trustees member Philip Cazahous ’70 was staring blankly at the construction site. A former track star at Riordan, he knew the significance and impact that the area will have on current and future students.

“It’s been 50 years,” Cazahous reflected, “And it’s finally happening.”

After nearly four years without football on campus, the Crusaders held the first game in front of a lively home crowd against Saint Francis on Nov. 2. The band made its own debut, adding to the electric atmosphere.

President Dr. Andrew Currier said with a smile, “The band makes everything better.”

On Nov. 9, the celebration and dedication was held shortly before the 1:15 game against Sacred Heart Cathedral with the blessing coming courtesy of Fr. John Jimenez. Currier thanked the many donors who helped fund the facility, and Board Chairman Steven Herrera ’76 did the same.

Dean of Student Affairs Brian Kelly said, “This shows that we can do anything the other schools can do. There’s a sense of calmness now that makes everything move easier.”

On senior day, Riordan flirted around with destiny, beating the Irish 44-7, winning the Stanfel Cup. In front of hundreds of people, the Crusaders won their first league game since 2017. Memories were made and the frowned faces seen for the last two years were quickly lifted into unfiltered happiness and joy.

The field of dreams is now an epic reality, and football player Gabe Martin ’20 put it best, as he was seen hollering through the locker room and onto the field chanting, “It’s finally happened! We have a field!”