Back on Track

Dallastown track and lacrosse teams can finally hold home sporting events on their turf after two years of stadium construction.
This aerial shot was taken of Wildcat Stadium prior to construction that began in November. Finally, after two years, the Wildcats are able to hold home games and meets again
This aerial shot was taken of Wildcat Stadium prior to construction that began in November. Finally, after two years, the Wildcats are able to hold home games and meets again

For 64 years, the stadium at Dallastown, which hosted Wildcats sporting events, remained mostly the same as it had been since it was first built in 1958.

That finally changed in the 2022-2023 school year. The project cost over $7 million, and the funds were collected from bonds in preparation for this huge update.

From needed upgrades to ADA accessibility, the bleachers crumbling apart, and the press box seeing much better days, the district knew change needed to happen, and it needed to happen quickly.

With the drastic changes happening, some of the spring sports, mainly lacrosse and track, were forced to have mostly away games and meets during the 2023 season.

Finally though, in early March 2024, the boys and girls lacrosse teams got to play on their home turf for the first time in two years.

“It feels great to be playing at the turf again. It’s really nice to have night games, so parents can get there easier and watch this year. Last year, the games were so early it was hard for people to make it to them,” Lexi Federline, a junior girls lacrosse player says.

Then, on Thurs,, March 28, track athletes got their opportunity to run at their home track.

“I like to be back running on my home track, because that’s what I’m used to practicing on. I feel like I have an advantage running on my home track against other schools,” Maddox Thompson, a senior on the track team says.

Let’s go back a little to understand what the athletes had to do with practices and games/meets to accommodate the stadium updates.

I believe that the updates to the stadium are beneficial because it looks more modern and appealing, it also holds more people, and is more convenient for players in locker rooms and people in the snack bar. Also, the trainer’s office up at the turf is very nice too.”

— Cole Terry

Both the girls’ and boys’ lacrosse teams had to practice and play their home games on the middle school soccer field.

“Since there were no lights (at the grass field), all of our practices were earlier and so were the games. Most of the varsity games at home started at 4:15,” a senior member of the boys’ lacrosse team, Cole Terry says.

Along with the inconvenient game and practice times, there were more downsides to playing on the grass field.

“The grass field we played on wasn’t a great field, and the ball bounced very differently on grass than on turf. Only practicing on grass was hard to then go play on turf. It was also harder to run on grass, and the weather affected that field way more than a turf field. It would get really muddy and create bad playing conditions anytime there was any rain,” Federline says.

“We had to practice in different areas and meet in different spots while they were doing the construction,” senior, Mae Treml, who runs on the track team says.

Along with highly affecting how practices looked, the track team was unable to have any home meets and was unable to hold their big invitational meet, The Ray Geesey Invitational, on their home turf where schools came from all around to compete. This year the invitational is back at Dallastown and will be held on Fri., April 26.

“Always having to sit in a bus before the meet was never my favorite,” Treml says.

Even though the teams performed well on turfs and tracks that were unfamiliar, being back and having the home-field advantage will only help to increase the confidence and competition among the students at Dallastown.

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