Mar 30, 2010

Intramural fields receive facelift

by Betsy Abraham

Intramural athletes will notice some changes have taken place on the East Campus fields. New lights and parking spaces are just the beginning of many improvements that have enhanced not only the fields, but the experience of spectators and players as well.

More than $200,000 was spent on improvements made to the upper set of fields on East Campus, according to Director of Campus Recreation and Intramural Sports Ed Barnhouse. These fields, which are located closest to the dorms, received permanent lights in October. Barnhouse said the lights were the most pressing need for the fields. Prior to the lights being installed, games could only be played during the day, often causing conflict with class schedules. The lights allow players four extra hours of game time and allow students to play games as late as 10 p.m.

“Factoring in the amount of sports we offer and the amount of teams we have signed up, the average team would get to play six games per semester,” Barnhouse said. “With the lights, we have come close to doubling the amount of games scheduled, while offering more sports for students to choose from.”  

Sophomore Lisa Youngerman is a scorekeeper for intramural athletics and thinks the lights have had a big part in how the athletes play.

“The lights are a lot brighter and higher. We don’t have as many shadows anymore, and I think that the players are playing a lot better,” Youngerman said.

In addition to lights, a permanent backstop was installed for one of the softball fields. Fifty parking spots were also added to the fields. One of the more noticeable improvements is the addition of new fences around the fields. These new fences are much taller than the previous ones, which help prevent balls from flying into the roadway. Not only do the fences make the fields look more professional, but they also help to protect the fields from outside damage.

“It gives (the fields) a more official look, and I also like that now people can’t drive onto the fields and destroy them,” Youngerman said.

Students should also expect to see a new frisbee golf course in early April. In addition, there is talk of adding field turf, a product that will make it easier for athletes to play games even after bad weather.

“(The money and time spent) shows that the school cares about athletics. They want everyone to play and not just the people who are here on a scholarship,” Youngerman said.

According to Barnhouse that is exactly what Liberty aimed to do with these improvements.

“In my opinion, providing better venues and facilities adds to the experience for the students. We strive to provide a variety of sports for everyone,” Barnhouse said.

Freshman John Ashton plays both intramural flag football and soccer and is glad that Liberty invested in enhancing the fields.
“I feel like the program is worth something to the school … because they actually spent time to put an effort into the intramural fields,” Ashton said.

Contact Betsy Abraham at
babraham3@liberty.edu.
 


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