HODGDON, Maine — Homefield may one day prove advantageous for the Hodgdon girls soccer team, thanks to a bit of ingenuity during a recent construction project.
SAD 70 Athletic Director Wayne Quint said Aug. 5 that work on the Graydon Drake Soccer Field was “progressing nicely” after a large amount of dirt was hauled in to lengthen the field. Although the field will not likely be ready for the start of the fall soccer season this year, he is optimistic it will be completed in the near future.
All of the material used to lengthen the field came from a paving project at the high school this summer.
“It didn’t really cost us anything,” Quint said. “They dug up a lot of material and we had them bring it up here to use. It was really the only way we could do something like this.”
The renovation will not have any impact on the school using the field for its softball team in the spring. Quint said that a temporary fence is normally erected in right field for this purpose.
Previously, the field was 100 yards by 60 yards, which was the bare minimum for use by a high school soccer team. Behind one of the goals was a steep embankment, which meant extensive work needed to be done to expand the field’s size.
Because of its smaller size, the Hodgdon girls were unable to host their home playoff game on their regular field last year, and instead played the game on the boys soccer field. The No. 8-ranked Hawks lost 2-1 to No. 9 Madawaska in a Class D North preliminary game last season.
Once the renovation is complete, the new field will be 125 yards by 75 yards, which is still smaller than fields at some high schools, but well within the MPA guidelines for a regulation field. The school is not able to go any wider because of the presence of ledge in the eastern corner of the field.
“We are very excited about the work being done to the field,” said Amanda Stubbs, varsity girls soccer coach for Hodgdon. “We hope that it will allow us to play potential future home playoff games on the field that we play on all year, rather than having to play on the boys field. I kind of feel that playing on the boys field for a playoff game takes away any home field advantage we might have.”