Saugus High School’s Christie Serino Jr. Sports Complex is now open
The players of the Saugus High School varsity football team trained on the new field of the Saugus High School stadium for the first time on Thursday morning, a milestone event that ushers in a new era for Sachems athletics.
Sporting director Terri Pillsbury has said the field is finished and will be ready for Saugus High School games and practices during the upcoming fall sports season.
In the past school year, students at Saugus High School watched work on the sports complex progress but were unable to access the grounds as there was still an active construction site, Pillsbury said.
“The kids are really excited and excited to be using the pitch,” Pillsbury said. “I’m just glad it all fell into place, it’s been a long time coming.”
The stadium – which members of the municipal assembly voted unanimously to name the Christie Serino Jr. sports complex – features a synthetic turf pitch, a state-of-the-art track, lights and bleachers that can accommodate accommodate up to 1,250 fans.
Other facilities include an air-conditioned press room, concession stand, changing rooms for boys and girls, and an area for referees and coaches.
A fresco by Montowampate adorns the outside wall of the locker room along with information on the Native American known as the Sachem of Saugus.
A giant “S” is centered on the 50 meter line with the end areas painted red with “Saugus” and “Sachems” in white letters.
City Manager Scott Crabtree said the digital video scoreboard is his favorite feature at the sports complex.
Crabtree thanked the residents for investing in a new middle school project and sports complex to benefit the children of Saugus.
“This will be a community resource for years and years to come and is something everyone in town can be proud of,” Crabtree said.
Saugus High School varsity football coach Steve Cummings led his team in their first practice at the stadium on Thursday morning.
Cummings said it was great to see the players finally step onto the new turf as they prepare for the games ahead.
“There’s a real excitement in the team to be able to use the pitch,” Cummings said.
The multipurpose field is striped for football, lacrosse, field hockey and soccer. Crabtree pointed out that there are also equipment and markings available to host athletic events such as the pole vault, high jump and long jump.
A basketball court has also been set up next to the stadium and the athletics field.
Pillsbury said she was working on planning games and practices for the fall sports season. Alternative venues other than the Christie Serino Jr. Sports Complex will likely be needed in some cases, as it is only one field, she noted.
Although Saugus High School will be given priority for use of the stadium, Crabtree has informed the board of directors that every game and practice cannot take place there.
Taxpayers invested in the sports complex and youth groups will also want to play at the facility, Crabtree said, noting that use of the land is licensed by the Youth and Recreation Department.
“The idea that every team will play on a pitch is impossible,” Crabtree said. “This is the start and we should probably consider having more facilities like this in town so that we have more of a foreground field.”
Jeannie Meredith, chair of the Saugus School building committee, marveled at the sight of soccer players training and cheerleaders doing laps on Thursday.
“It’s very emotional for me to see the kids entering the field for the first time,” said Meredith. “It’s a huge improvement and a milestone day for Saugus.”