TEWKSBURY – You have to applaud the Town of Tewksbury. And it should be a standing ovation that lasts for a very long time.
They nailed this one, but they also hit a home run many times before as well.
This past Saturday, a packed house at the new Doucette Stadium, watched the Tewksbury Memorial High School Football team take on Danvers in the season opener. It was an absolutely gorgeous day – and those fans took it all in.
The festivities included a top-notch pre-game ceremony to honor the local first responders, members of the Tewksbury (and Danvers) Police and Fire Departments, while, Police Chief Ryan Columbus, Fire Chief Joe Kearns and Danvers’ Chief of Police James Lovell participating in the coin toss. Kudos to TMHS Athletic Director Ron Drouin for the first-class tribute.
The absolutely state-of-the-art new complex is breathtaking to say it lightly. The turf field, the scoreboard, the press box, the enormous field house, the entrance into the stadium with the stone wall on each side, displaying the words “Brooks Field House” is out of this world.
The bathrooms are spacious and there's no troughs, or 100-year-old disgusting stained sinks to wash your hands. The concession stand has it all, too.
This complex is easily better than a number of college complexes, whether it be Division 1, 2 or 3.
Tewksbury nailed this one and there's so many people who deserve the credit and that will be for another day.
While this complex will be used for all of the high school athletic teams – in particular football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse for games, and every program is open to the use the impressive weight room, the field will also be used for youth sports, gym and music classes once the new elementary school is built, as well as other events.
It's for all of the kids – well maybe not the ice hockey players, but you get the point.
Years ago, maybe 15 to 20, I wrote a column comparing everything about sports in the towns of Tewksbury and Wilmington. One of the categories was fields and facilities and at that time, most of Tewksbury's were to be honest, pitiful.
Today that's a different story. Tewksbury now has this new complex, the gorgeous Ed Dick Memorial Turf Field, Track and Tennis Courts at the high school, the Livingston Street Softball/Baseball/Youth Football fields have all had a major boost.
It's awesome to see that the town has gone to bat for its kids.
It's not just sports either. Over the years, there's the new library, police station, the Ryan School and high school and in the plans will be the new Fire Station, DPW Building, and of course the new Elementary School. Each one of them are gorgeous buildings.
It's wonderful to see that the town has gone to bat for all of its people and not just sports.
While I will certainly miss the Saturday afternoon football games as to me there's nothing better than that, for a sportswriter, the new Doucette Field is more than I ever could have dreamt. Heck, Saturday was the first time in 27 years that I sat in a chair covering a TMHS Football game with the air conditioner on behind me and I wasn't rubbing elbows with five different people.
Congratulations to the people and more importantly to the kids of Tewksbury. Your town did you right.