2017-04-19 / Sports

Tigers react to Waterhouse Field closure

Associate Sports Editor

BIDDEFORD — After last week’s closure of Biddeford’s treasured Waterhouse Field, many residents, especially the athletes that compete there, wonder what the future holds for the venue.

The Biddeford School Department recently hired Weston & Sampson, an environmental consulting firm, to conduct an evaluation of the facility. The company concluded that the bleachers, which have not been renovated for over 20 years, were unsafe for spectators, as well as the two press boxes that rest atop them.

As Biddeford High School weighs out its options in terms of where its sports teams will compete, a handful of local athletes and coaches have reflected on the closure and their time at the field.

Biddeford football coach Brian Curit was disappointed with the closure, but is working hard along with the school department to find a solution.

“The superintendent had briefed us beforehand so we had some time to take a look at the alternatives and most of them weren’t great. Since then there have been a lot of people working together to at least salvage our season at home. I would not want our senior class to be robbed of the experience of playing its senior season at Waterhouse,” said Brian Curit.

Biddeford senior quarterback Joey Curit was surprised when he heard the news, and was frustrated with not being able to play his final high school game at the venue during the summer’s Lobster Bowl.

“We always knew that it was a possibility but we never really thought that it was going to happen. I was very surprised, obviously sad, I grew up there going to many games,” said Joey Curit. “Obviously a lot of us knew that our last season at Waterhouse would be this fall but we were hoping to play the Lobster Bowl there one last time. So it’s frustrating when you think that you get one more game and you’re not going to.”

Senior wide receiver and cornerback Patrick Pearl also felt sad for the younger classes, who may not be able to experience the historic field in the same manner as the groups before them. However, he is confident and hopeful that Waterhouse will be up and running sooner rather than later, and will once again be the hub of sports for the Biddeford community.

“It’s sad because it’s such a tradition to play there. I got to play there all four years so I was happy but the guys that haven’t, I was a little disappointed for them,” said Pearl. “I’m sure whatever they do they will make a great facility. I hope they try to keep it as much of the same as they can, but renovate it so it’s safe for everyone to go there.”

Brian Curit also expects to see improvements in the near future.

“I’ve long said that it’s a very special place. People from all over the state of Maine want to play at Waterhouse Field,” said Brian Curit. “You’re right on top of the action, you have that sense of the action, it’s difficult to beat. Waterhouse just needs a little T.L.C. — I’m confident with everyone working together that we’ll be able to do that.”

Moving forward, the senior Tigers will take the memories of competing at one of Maine’s most celebrated fields with them.

“It was unreal, coming out from under the bleachers with Hells Bells playing ... you get chills,” said Pearl.

“It’s not like any other place,” said Joey Curit. “It’s a different feel when you go to Waterhouse. That tradition, you can feel it ... it’s a really special place.”

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at asponseller@journaltribune.com or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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