The ball is in our court: Coaches, students celebrate return of field, sport court


Photo credit: Nicki Rosenberg

After a year of construction, the Archer community now has a new Sport Court and Field. The Sport Court is now larger, and can accommodate more sports and activities.

The end of the summer brought new classes, faces and schedules to every Archer student. However, the beginning of the school year also introduced a new home for athletics: a new and improved sport court and field.

“I think [the sport court and field are] great in the sense that they brought back community,” Assistant Athletics Director Amelia Mathis said. “When you think about the field and the court, we think about just the athletics side of things, but I think that there are a lot of memories and a lot of stories that people told with the field.”

Last year, all sports and a majority of fitness classes took place off campus. This fall, middle school volleyball will return to campus. Players in all winter sports and spring softball will also use the court, in addition to students in the fitness and wellness program. 

“More people will be involved, and not even…just in sports,” sophomore Faith Soriano said. “Playing during lunch and things like that will become more of a norm.”

But the sport court in itself is not a new addition to Archer. An earlier iteration was demolished during the construction of the Diana Meehan Center, and the off-campus practices and classes were held as a temporary measure.

“When the Diana Meehan Center opened, the field was sort of that next phase,” Mathis said.

The sport court and field also serve as backdrops for some of Archer athletes’ “favorite memories.” 

“The field plays a vital role in the connection and success of the soccer team,” senior and varsity soccer captain Sophie Larbalestier said. “Some of my favorite memories were made on that field. Some of my friends and I would stay after practice to shoot penalty kicks or to even watch the winter sunsets. I can’t wait to use it.”

In addition to strengthening team dynamics, the renovation fixed cracks on the court’s surface.

“Now, we’re all regulation with the court and also with the field,” she said. “[We’re] thinking of it as another opportunity for sports teams and fitness to excel.”

The sport court also contains an extra volleyball court, wraparound fencing, a ramp, new stairs that double as seating and larger basketball courts, which will increase athletes’ playing time.

“We can have the two courts going simultaneously by having a bigger gap [between the courts],” Mathis said.

The return of on-campus sports facilities not only makes it easier for athletes to commute but also allows for greater community involvement in Archer athletics. 

“For athletics and for the community, it means more practices and some competition,” Fitness and Wellness Department Chair Stephanie Ferri said. “There’s a theme of connection, [and we’re hoping the community will be] more connected to athletics now that we have a home base for some sports.”

Additional reporting contributed by Nyah Fernandez and Jessica Jimenez.