Thomaston unveils new soccer home
THOMASTON – It was green and pristine sporting the type of look you wish every new home should have. And for good measure a sparkling sunshine and blue sky added just the right touch for the occasion.
Thomaston High unveiled its long-awaited new soccer field Friday afternoon at Nystrom’s Park and let’s just say it was a hit, joining new tennis courts and a new track which had its day in the spring and surrounds the sparkling new pitch. All part of an impressive $3 million upgrade of the park.
Let Lewis Mills coach Ben Kulas add some verbal to what your eyes saw or didn’t see if you weren’t on hand. Kulas was smiling before the game after getting a view of the complex and was only more impressed after the game.
“When I get out of the bus and saw the nets and they were great I could tell immediately it was beautiful,” said Kulas. “It’s big and the width is great. It’s automatically one of the best fields in the league. “
Just for the record they did play a game which for Thomaston might have been the only downer on a very up day. The Spartans roared and we mean roared to an easy 7-0 win on the strength of a pair of goals from Carter Viets and Garrett Sullivan and solo scores from Bryce Duda, Brian Beger and Nick Lutrzykowski.
No surprise here considering the Spartans are the defending Class M and Berkshire League champs and in a class by themselves. If there was any solace for the Bears it was that this was Lewis Mills’ first and last appearance in Thomaston, the school leaving the BL for the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) at the end of the school year.
And I won’t tell you the Bears were real happy with the soccer part of the day. But the day was more about where the game was played not the final result.
Years ago the Bears played at a less than spiffy Nystrom’s field which had a dip in one corner that swallowed up players so that they couldn’t be seen on the other side of the field. In recent years games have been played at Highwood Farms.
Cozy and accessible, Highwood is. That’s about it. No pitch and tilted to one side with grass a luxury and dirt in infinite supply. Highwoods has been a place to play and that’s about it. It is overused between the schools’ boys and girls teams and recreation teams and oh did we say balls often went into neighbor’s yards both back and front. The dimensions were barely acceptable for high school play and did not allow state tournament games to be held there. Now you have a college-size field (115x70).
Parking? Let’s say lacking.
None of which is a factor at the Bears’ new palace. Through the efforts of a multitude of townspeople and led by a driving force in Mike Burr, who wrote grants, raised money, cajoled, argued with and convinced many that this needed to be done, the field is a dream made into a reality.
Papa Bear Burr was on hand with another shaker and mover in the project, Thomaston Board of Finance Chairman George Seabourne, and clearly proud of what he was watching from one end of the complex.
There was some debate among town officials whether to open this field this season or wait until next season just to be on the careful side with the grass. Let’s go won out with some protective measures agreed to. Only varsity teams will use the field and only for games. Games will not be played when it rains or conditions could create a sloppy field. There will be just one practice session allowed a week for both varsity teams and that will be on Sunday for two hours total.
Clearly the decision to play was a hit for the Golden Bears.
“It’s a major improvement,” said Thomaston senior and two-time All-Stater Mergim Kutlovci. “It is bigger and we can more possession which is our game.’
“I like it, it’s a new town attraction,” added goalie Shawn Galeski.
A good crowd basked in the sunlight rise on one side of the field watching the action. Parking lots were plentiful with three areas to park the modern day chariots. Most could have done without the result but on this day it was all about the long awaited location, location, location.
One person walked away saying, “this is awesome,” Others basked in the beauty of the new complex.
Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.” And if Ben Kulas is representative of the BL, opponents are going to be saying, “there’s no place like Thomaston’s soccer home.”