LAWRENCE: New turf athletic field to be unveiled at school’s 50th anniversary celebration


By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
LAWRENCE — Alumni athletes, cheerleaders, marching band members and coaches are being invited to gather at the Lawrence High School cafeteria Oct. 28 to celebrate the school’s new turf athletic field — and to mark the first time that the football team will play “under the (newly installed) lights.”
School district officials will honor the alumni as part of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Lawrence High School, said Alyson Fischer, the director of health, physical education and athletics. Until the high school opened its doors in September 1966, students attended Princeton High School or Trenton High School.
“(Next Friday) is our Lawrence High School senior football game, where we honor the football, Red Scare marching band and cheerleader seniors,” Ms. Fischer said. “It will be our first ‘Friday night lights’ game on the new turf field. The football team will be taking on Robbinsville High School.”
The pre-game festivities will start at 5:45 p.m., when the doors open to the Lawrence High School Commons, or cafeteria, she said. Alumni athletes of any sport — from soccer to ice hockey to field hockey to boys and girls tennis, lacrosse, softball, baseball and golf — will gather at the Commons to socialize.
Each former athlete, band member, cheerleader and coach will be given a name tag with the sport or activity in which he or she participated, and their year of graduation from Lawrence High School. There will be refreshments and time to mingle — and a free ticket to the football game that starts at 7 p.m.
Before the game, however, the district wants to honor the alumni from the past 50 years. Around 6:30 p.m., the alumni will be escorted onto the field, and grouped together by decade — from the 1960s to the 2000s — to show the progression through the years, Ms. Fischer said.
Then, the Lawrence High School football team will run onto the field to start the game. At half-time, the seniors on the football team, cheerleading squad and the Red Scare Marching Band will be honored, she said.
Although the festivities are set for Oct. 28, the turf field is expected to be ready for use earlier in the week, Ms. Fischer said. The students are excited, and “almost every day, they knock on my door and ask when can they play on it,” she added.
The turf field has been several years in the making, school district officials said. Turf fields offer several advantages over grass fields, such as a playing surface that is uniform and consistent. It is easier to maintain a turf field. Wear and tear is minimized on a turf field, compared to the bare spots that may pop up on a grass field from use. 