A new era is dawning at Ss. Peter and Paul High School in Easton, Md., as classes begin in a brand-new building near the parish church. In addition to new academic facilities and opportunities, the Sabres’ sports teams are looking forward to breaking in their new home.
“We’re extremely excited about our new athletic facilities,” athletic director Patrick Tracy said.
The school has doubled the footprint of its previous facilities. The gymnasium will have a larger floor with an arena feel, and the school will be able to have two courts going at one time for practice or intramurals. The building also houses a weight room, “which is going to be a great opportunity for our athletes to become bigger, stronger and faster,” Tracy said.
Outside, Ss. Peter and Paul will double its number of fields from two to four. All will have Bermuda grass that will be professionally manicured. Two of the fields will be for practice, the other two for games. The game fields will have bleacher seating for up to 600 people on each side. There will be press boxes, and the game fields have lights, opening up new opportunities, according to Tracy.
Musco Vision, which provided the lighting, also is installing equipment that will allow the school to livestream events.
Six tennis courts have been added to the campus, so the Sabres can play there instead of at the local YMCA. Those will be available not only to students, but to the local community as well, Tracy said.
Ss. Peter and Paul sponsors field hockey, boys and girls soccer in the fall, but those teams will use the fields at the old school building until the new ones are in game shape. Tracy is hopeful that those teams can sneak in a game or two at their new home at the end of this season.
“Our current fields are in great condition, and we’re going to wait until the new fields are ready,” he said.
The gymnasium does not host any fall sports, so the Sabres’ basketball teams will be breaking in the facility this winter. Tracy said the school added a club volleyball program before the COVID-19 pandemic to see how much interest there was in the sport, and “we’re going to look into revamping that this fall.” The court will include lines for volleyball.
Tracy, entering his fourth year at Ss. Peter and Paul, credited the school board, principal James Nemeth and Father Jim Nash, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul, for putting together a great plan.
“There’s a lot of buzz about the new school and the new athletic facilities around Easton,” he said. “There’s a lot of positives about our school.”
Tracy is excited about the prospects for the Sabres this fall. Last season, the field hockey team, under the guidance of Suzanne McGettigan, won the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship. They have several key players returning and a talented freshman class, according to Tracy.
The boys’ soccer team has a new coach, Andrew Dalton, who played for rival Easton High School. He succeeds GR Cannon, who had great success with the Sabres and will be around the program as a consultant.
“We’re going to be able to continue to build our soccer program,” Tracy said. (Dalton’s) already brought some great ideas to the table.”
The teams are wasting no time getting started, as the field hockey team has a game scheduled against St. Mary’s in late August.