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Keene State College’s lacrosse teams will not be playing any home games this semester following the sub-par results of a June 2020 impact test.
“The results… from the impact testing were substandard, and average or below average. And especially below average when it came to the area of head impact or concussion,” said Phil Racicot, KSC Director of Athletics and Recreation.
Racicot said the issues with turf were long-standing.
“It’s well known throughout the conference that Keene State needed new turf. In my first fall here last year, we actually did repairs, but those were mostly repairs to correct tripping hazards,” said Racicot. These repairs included patching up seams and repairing torn flaps.
The delay in replacing the turf comes from “changes in leadership,” Racicot said. “I think that there was maybe an interim athletic director at the time and maybe some indecision about the best way to move forward with a project of that nature,” said Racicot.
Although this will be a season of away games, Racicot said seasons like these are not uncommon among colleges.
“There are many instances that this happens in college athletics, when there are delays in a facility project, that teams do have to play their schedule away. I’ve experienced that in my past position… It does happen, teams can’t play in their home arena for a year. It’s unfortunate, it’s probably unique to Keene, but it’s not unique to college athletics,” said Racicot.
Men’s lacrosse head coach Mark Theriault discussed how the players are feeling about an all away-game season.
“I think they’re a little bummed about it, everyone loves home games, crowds and all that, but I think in the midst of COVID, anyway, it’s not like we can have any fans or parents or friends anyway, this year, and that’s, that goes with all sports at Keene across the board, just to be safe in the pandemic,” said Theriault.
Associate head coach Tom Carmean also commented on the turf, “It’s kind of weird that this year is when they’re replacing the turf…if it had to happen, it was probably the best year for it to happen.”
Carmean also explained how players might feel about an all away-game season. “I think if you could parse it out to be the idea that if we had a full schedule of 17 games, about as many as we’re gonna play this year, were away games anyway. No one’s gonna have fans there anyway I think the inconvenience is probably perhaps the bus ride and the idea that even if you were home it would be frustrating that your friends and family can’t come,” Carmean said.
Carmean elaborated, “So it’s a weird year anyway, and I think it’s just part of the flavor of this strange time that we’re in that I dont think its that hard for students to absorb another oddity to the season, I think in a normal year, where we have 17 games plus playoffs if we were never home, that would feel a lot tougher than four weeks travelling.”
The turf is planned to be replaced in May 2021.
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