Caird Center Previewed – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Caird Center Previewed

The Finger Lakes Times recently joined area media for a sneak-peak at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation and wrote about the complex.

“It’s a beautiful field,” the article quoted senior linebacker Kyle O’Laughlin ’11. “We had really good facilities before. We had a really nice stadium, a really nice locker room. Now, to come back and have a brand-new field, a brand-new stadium, a brand-new locker room, brand-new uniforms, it’s amazing.”

Most players returned to campus the day before the media previewed the field.

The full article about the new Boswell Field at Caird Center for Sports and Recreation, including players’ and coaches’ reactions and details, follows.


 

Finger Lakes Times
Amazing new digs
HWS offers a peek at its brand-new complex
Alan Brignall • August 20, 2010

GENEVA – The pungent smell of rubber ground into fine bits wafted through the air. Hazy sun gleamed off bleachers yet to be stained by mustard dripping off a hot dog or a soft drink slipping out of someone’s hand.

 

One by one, Hobart College football players walked in front of a camera, their smiles destined for the school’s athletic website, their brand-new uniforms never to be caked in mud again.

This was no ordinary Media Day at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Thursday morning, the Colleges unveiled the new Boswell Field at Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. It takes up essentially no more space than its precursor, but seems twice the size. The new facility is replete with a state-of-the-art FieldTurf playing surface, eight sections of connected bleachers, a two-story press box, four light poles and the luxurious locker rooms that have become a staple of all recent athletic renovations.

Most Hobart and William Smith athletes returned to campus Wednesday, including the football players that will be part of the Sept. 11 stadium debut against Dickinson College. Their reaction yesterday was predictable.

“It’s a beautiful field,” raved senior linebacker Kyle O’Laughlin, one of four Statesmen captains. “We had really good facilities before. We had a really nice stadium, a really nice locker room. Now, to come back and have a brand-new field, a brand-new stadium, a brand-new locker room, brand-new uniforms, it’s amazing.”

Hobart and William Smith coaches have watched the project from the demolition of the old to the construction of the new, yet they seemed as amazed as the athletes viewing the new digs for the first time.

“First impression is just, ‘Wow,'” remarked Aaron Backhaus, who, like fellow assistant football coaches Kevin DeWall, Scott Yoder and Ryan Robinson, played college football on the Boswell Field grass. “There’s nothing else to say but, ‘Wow, it’s really spectacular what they did.’ The field, the stadium, the locker rooms: It’s top-notch.”

“The finished product is amazing,” agreed head football coach Mike Cragg. “It looks so beautiful. It feels like you’re at a big-time stadium. To come here and see everything that they’ve done … I mean, I talked with Ryan Robinson, who played here last year and is now coaching with us, and he said to me, ‘Coach, I can’t tell you how jealous I am.’

“All the planning and hard work that everyone did, not just with what everyone can see, but back in the locker rooms and the William Smith locker rooms and the training room – it’s an unbelievable facility.”

Pat Genovese has spent most of her life working and coaching at William Smith. As an assistant to William Smith Athletic Director Deb Steward, the Herons’ head lacrosse coach has been privy to most of the developments involving the construction. Now that all but a few fine details are complete, she’s flabbergasted by what she sees.

“After looking at a distance, I was taken aback the first time I walked in,” she said. “And when I walked into the locker room, it was so much more than I ever expected it to be. Every time I go back I get more excited than the first time.”

Boswell Field will be the home of Hobart football and Hobart and William Smith lacrosse – the Hobart and William Smith soccer teams and William Smith field hockey squad participated in Media Day as well, although they will continue to play home games at Cozzens (soccer) and McCooey (field hockey) fields.
Genovese can’t wait for her team’s March 22 debut against St. John Fisher.

“Already I think about coming out of the locker room and coming out from underneath the bleachers,” Genovese relayed. “I can almost hear the music and feel the emotion and excitement of our first game, and I know another shock wave is going to go through me as I walk out onto the turf.”

In 22 days, the football team will be the first to entertain fans at the new Boswell Field. O’Laughlin said he and his teammates are determined to keep their field as one of the Liberty League’s most feared venues.

“Before, we were one of the only grass teams in the league. We sometimes thought that was an advantage for us,” O’Laughlin said. “I think it will be even more of a home-field advantage for us now. The atmosphere will be off the charts.”

“If we can get our guys feeling like this is our house and nobody can come in and beat us here … ” Cragg pondered.

He didn’t finish his thought. Once again, he seemed awash in the newness that surrounded him.

It’s a period of adjustment, all right, but one that all involved will surely cherish for a long time.

E-mail Finger Lakes Times Sports Editor Alan Brignall at abrignall@fltimes.com.