Today is the second, and final, day of the 2017 Career Impact Summit, organized by the Knox College Bastian F...
Vice President for Advancement
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401- 4999
The Case for Renovating Prats Field:
A synthetic turf field is game- or practice-ready every day, no matter the weather. Last year, after heavy rains, the Prairie Fire men had to move one of its key preseason games (against nationally ranked University of Chicago) to another local soccer field to prevent lasting damage to the grass at Prats Field. When Knox had the privilege of hosting the Midwest Conference Tournament in November 2016, we had to schedule games at other local fields and carefully manage the grass at Prats Field to ensure it would hold up during three continuous days of play. Sand-based turf will rebound quickly from both weather and heavy use.
Lighting the field will make it possible to coordinate training, practice, and game schedules for men's and women's teams and reduce missed class time for players. Lights will enable teams to practice early in the morning or play games into the evening. It will also enable both teams to schedule practice in the same space where they'll compete, rather than use the infield of Trevor Field, the Knosher Bowl, or other local soccer fields as they do now.
Right now, there is a firm limit to the number of soccer-playing students Knox can recruit because of the limited availability of practice space. With a lit, synthetic turf field, the soccer program will be able to schedule more practices, accommodate a greater number of players, and field reserve teams that will help us grow our talent pool.
Our improved facilities will entice top student-athletes from beyond the Midwest (including international students) to consider Knox. Players of this caliber, particularly heavily recruited men's players, tend to consider the athletic "fit" of an institution as heavily as they do the academic fit. Right now, Prats Field is often a step down from the facilities they used as high school players.
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