Category Archives: Sports

Basketball Returns to the Albert Sheen Campus

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UVI St. Croix Campus Basketball Team

Chris Sealey |

ST. CROIX – Opening UVI St. Croix’s Student Government League’s basketball season, the university welcomed the VI National Guard basketball team, the Spartans, to an exhibition basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 11. In the end, the university claimed victory over the visitors, winning the game 46-38. Eddie Castillo topped score with 15 points and Chris Sealey pitched in with 11 points.

Senior forward Sealey started the game scoring the UVI team’s first 8 points.

“Chris came out the hole firing,” Castillo stated after the game.  “The team’s mindset early was to set the tone defensively which got the team going offensively.”

By the end of the first quarter Spartans were down by 8.

“I was definitely aware of players like Sealey and Castillo,” Coach Webster of the Spartans said. “I told my team to focus on those two players defensively.”

By halftime the score was tied at 26.

Webster started the second half with his team playing a half-court pressure defense.  The Spartans forced some turnovers early, but the great ball handling of senior point guard Amali Krigger helped UVI gain a lead.

“I felt we did well on the defensive end,” Krigger said, “when by playing pressure defense we forced turnovers, mainly because they were weak when it came to ball handling.” Continue reading Basketball Returns to the Albert Sheen Campus

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UVI Bucs not deterred by last season’s losses

PATRICE RENEE HARRIS|

ST. THOMAS – If you ever need a lesson in determination and perseverance look no further than the UVI Men’s Buccaneers basketball team.

Continue reading UVI Bucs not deterred by last season’s losses

New and Improved Buccaneers Fall Short to Sacred Heart

Gerald Bellot |

ST. THOMAS –The University of the Virgin Islands men’s basketball team traveled to San Juan, Puerto on Jan. 31 to play their second conference game against the University of Puerto Rico’s team, Sacred Heart.

The UVI Bucs look to better their record (1-0) on the road against a team that outmatched them by 31 points last year.

This year has already proved to be a better season for the Bucs, as last season they did not taste a win.

The Bucs, previously coached by Ryan Skinner, have made a plethora of changes going into this season. One of the changes was the acquisition of Coach Myron Brown.

Coach Brown spent two seasons at the University of St. Thomas in Miami, Florida. He joined the St. Thomas Bobcats after a season as the Head Coach for DeVry University where he built the DeVry University Men’s Basketball program from scratch without any athletic scholarships.

The Detroit native brings along four years of coaching experience in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics  to the Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria de Puerto Rico for the Bucs this year. In addition to adding a new coach for the program there are also several new athletes that will not be eligible to play in conference this season but are practicing with the team. It seems as though the program may have a better future.

Tip off for the game was scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

At the tip, the Bucs gained the first possession. The Bucs brought the ball down the right side of the court and dumped it in to Dornel Weaver who finished at the basket.

The Bucs opened up the game in a full court man press, a different look from what we have seen in the past.

Sacred Heart responded on the other side of the floor. Chris Rodriguez, Heart’s biggest scoring threat this year, made a 15-footer in the middle of the paint.

Both teams seemed to be a little slow at the beginning of the game, each team with three turnovers. Neither seemed to be completely dominant. At the end of the first quarter the Bucs led by three, the score was 14-11.

After the first quarter the Bucs were led by Weaver with six and Rodriguez with seven.

The second quarter started at a much higher pace. The bench for the Bucs began to respond to the home crowd with chants. It nearly felt like playoff atmosphere.

Sacred Heart came out of the quarter making several adjustments, including a full court press that momentarily baffled the Bucs. They forced two quick turnovers. Joaquin Martinez scored his first bucket on the night.

After a quick timeout, it seemed Coach Brown said all the right things that his team needed to hear. They responded by scoring a quick 8 points, ending Sacred Hearts 5-0 run. Sacred Heart didn’t let that rattle them; Rodriguez fired two corner threes with 2:44 remaining to put them up 29-28.

The Bucs entered the half leading 32-31.

In previous seasons, the Bucs have come out rather sluggish in the second half which lead to their 0-10 season last year. Coach Brown has put a large emphasis on a few things this year. When asked about his team’s ability to play hard in the second half, he responded,  “Games are won in the second half not the first. If we are going to win this game we have to come out ready for a fight.”

This philosophy must have been engraved in the Bucs because they came out swinging. Chris Lockhart and Salim Ross lead an early surge in the beginning of the half. Ross scored an easy four points transition.

Lockhart was just starting to warm up, he scored a quick 8 points from the mid-range. Lockhart found Weaver under the basket with a no look pass. Chase Tomas may have been the game changer in this contest; he scored two and-one baskets early in the quarter that turned the momentum away from Sacred Heart.

Freshman Jabari Alexander and Paul Watson also had great debuts. With 5:20 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Alexander drove along the baseline and dished the ball to Weaver for a basket. The next possession Watson scored an easy bucket on his defender.

There was 3:13 left on the clock in the 3rd quarter. Sacred Heart took the ball out on their sideline after a time out. Steven Quiroz lobbed the ball on the inbound to Alejandro Grant and nearly connected for a game changing alley-oop.

Both teams continued to score back and forth until the end of the quarter. Grant, got his first bucket with 1:00 remaining. Going into the 4th   quarter the Bucs trailed 49-45.

Lockhart led a frenzy from the bucks in the beginning of the quarter, scoring 8 points to give the bucks the lead. Early in the quarter, Grant picked up his 4th foul and went to the bench leaving Sacred Heart at a size disadvantage; However his substitute William Schaening was eager for an opportunity. Schaening hit two big shots to bring Sacred Heart back within single digits.

With 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the bucks were up seven points. It seemed as if they had the game in their hands, but that was not the case. Turnovers continued to plague the Bucs and Sacred Heart began to regain life.

It was nearly a comedy of errors, fumbled passes stepping out of bound and shot clock violations. Nothing was going the Bucs way, yet somehow they remained in the game. In fact, they led by 2 until Schaning hit another big three to put Sacred Heart up 1 with :57 seconds remaining.

Lockhart brought the ball down the court and ran through their play looking for a shot. He had an open look in the middle of the floor and took the shot; he came up short. Watson got the rebound and attempted to score when he was fouled.

Watson went to the line to attempt his 3rd and 4th free throws of the game. His first free throw was short and he had one more attempt. His second free throw was also short; Ross followed the ball and attempted a put-back dunk and he also missed.

Sacred Heart now had possession of the ball with: 5.6 seconds remaining. The ball was in-bounded and Grant was fouled by Watson. Grant went to the line to shoot 2 and cashed in on both attempts.

The Bucs down 3 called their final timeout and advanced the ball to half court. Coach Brown drew up a play for Lockhart but it was defended perfectly. A quick adjustment was made, Watson found Lockhart in the corner for a 3.

Lockhart’s left foot was out of bounds and the ball was called dead before he got to attempt the shot. Sacred Heart took possession and won the game 71-68.

Sacred Heart was led by Rodriguez with 21 and UVI was lead by Lockhart with 26.

On The Road with Coach

Maxwell Peerman Daniels

On the Road with Coach

We’re driving to a three o’ clock game in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, a town of decrepit wooden and metal homes in the rolling hills, three and a half hours from the steel bar hugging doorways of apartments in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Coach David Santesteban  is leading the University of the Virgin Islands soccer team to a historic season, but the traveling situation for the team has eight, athletic, determined university men squeezed inside one rental van.

“This is unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells, directing a hand and his voice towards traffic in Puerto Rico.

Speeding down the road, assertive with controlling traffic towards his favor , coach commands traffic. Coach speeds up the van, taking what little space he has in traffic and running with it.   Suddenly he switches lanes in order to follow the lead van of soccer players from St. Thomas, and instantly becomes agitated.

“Unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells out into the air again.

It’s because after only three games traversing this island in a soccer convoy, he believes he knows this island like the back of his sun tanned hand.   With experience playing the forward position in soccer professionally for the San Jose Oaks and San Francisco Diablos, scoring is second nature and winning is the ultimate goal. Now,  although Coach Santesteban is a man of faith and pride, leading a young team filled with heart and ability, among the multiple things that annoy coach within a given day, following another car going in a circle is a big one.

The University of the Virgin Islands needed someone with vision to spearhead the development of the soccer program after the completion of their new home field, but the result of what they’ve gotten in seven games has been historic. For the first time ever,  the University of the Virgin Islands has made it into the post season.  He’s a man with a last name that almost nobody on island can pronounce correctly at first try, but normally everyone just calls him coach. Only weeks from leaving his family temporarily in Houston, Texas, driving around island he’s already greeting folks on St. Croix with a honk.

Coach is a religious man, which fits in with the Caribbean culture. He dresses sharp in his Sunday best clothes, and has dreams of new uniforms and boat shoes for his players. On countless occasions he’s chastised his players about how to properly behave in public.

“We’re all in a fishbowl!” Coach preaches to his players after a win on the road in Puerto Rico.

With a resume that displays a culture of success, coach understands how champions should present themselves, constantly comparing his team to Real Madrid, explaining how professionals behave themselves. With a team filled with upper-classmen, and lower-classmen at various skill levels, it has been coach’s job to get everyone on the same level, playing at the same speed. This is not an easy task for a coach, a month in to coaching at any university.

At the inaugural home game on Oct. 4, coach led the UVI Buccaneers to their first win on their new home field. With a team comprised of 15 men, the UVI soccer team is relatively small with aspirations towards a championship. Most of the other teams have a bench filled with six or more players at a time for substitutions, while the Bucs on average have only two. That means more playing time for tired players on the road. Despite all the hurdles on the way through the 2014 season, the Bucs have played through it all because of the passion for the game.

The passion that Coach  Santesteban (santa-stay-ban) brings to the field can be seen on the side line and in practice. For a coach who tries to abstain from yelling too much on the side line, sometimes he can’t help himself. On Nov. 1,  the Bucs played their first home game of the playoffs, but the refs didn’t give us home field advantage. By the 88th minute of the game, coach had enough with the refs and their bad time-keeping. Our players were kept on the field during a scorcher of a day almost 10 minutes longer than appropriate. In Spanish coach yells  that the ref was extending the game in the other team  favor.

“Que está extendiendo el juego para el otro equipo.”

Immediately the ref raises his hand and dismisses coach from the last supposed two minutes of the game. Although coach might not always get what he wants on this team, he gets what he needs. Coach in frustration , takes his leave from the field, not before stalling at least 45 seconds from the game clock.

At the end of that game,  which resulted in a 1-1 tie, coach didn’t have much agitation in his voice towards the players. He knew that this team played with the pride of an island on their back, and with that he knew he was at the right place. All that waits now is the future of Bucs soccer in the playoffs and next season. Already the team has been accepted to new tournaments, and new players have taken interest. Bringing coach Santesteban to St. Croix has brought needed to change the culture and image of soccer at UVI, but even the coach won’t let you forget about the talented players on the team who sacrifice their bodies and time on the field for the Buccaneers.

Scoring Goals: Specialist, Officer and Soccer Team Co-Captain

Scoring Goals: Specialist, Officer and Soccer Team Co-Captain is well on his way to a successful future

By: Shari Chryss Alfred

ST. CROIX- Scoring goals on and off the soccer field, sophomore Kimani George, a criminal justice major and co-captain of the Buccaneer’s soccer team, has proven himself to be a role model, not only to teammates but also to many in the St. Croix community.

The 24-year-old St. Lucian native, who migrated to the Virgin Islands in 2008 for better educational opportunities, and has received that and much more using the strength of his mom as his motivation. Continue reading Scoring Goals: Specialist, Officer and Soccer Team Co-Captain

University of the Virgin Islands Annual Basketball Bush League.

BY: Jeremiah Harrison

ST.THOMAS — The faint echo of balls bouncing on the court is heard over the chatter of players as teams warm up in the gym at the University of the Virgin Islands “Annual Basketball Bush League.”  Players gather from all communities of the island in hopes of enjoying the game of basketball.

UVI’s Basketball Bush League was started by a young man named Jedd, whose purpose to begin the league was as he put it “Just for something to do.”   Even if it started as simply as that, it is now on its second year and is creating a good buzz for young adults on island. Continue reading University of the Virgin Islands Annual Basketball Bush League.

UVI Wins Inaugural Soccer Match

Shari Chryss Alfred |

ST. CROIX — Chants, cheers and screams filled the air on Saturday,  as The University of the Virgin Islands Albert A. Sheen campus made history within the Athletics Department on the territory’s new and only soccer field. With a crowd of over 100 people the Buccaneers won their Inaugural Home Game, 2-0, against Polytecnica University of Puerto Rico bringing them to a 2-2 standing in the league. Continue reading UVI Wins Inaugural Soccer Match

Spring Olympics Canceled

After facing setbacks, the Sports Committee postpones the Spring Olympics

AUGUSTUS LAURENCIN JR.|

ST. CROIX – University of the Virgin Islands’ Student Activities Supervisor Hedda Finch-Simpson recently announced that this year’s Spring Olympics was pushed back to April 25.

Though the annual event was previously scheduled for March 21, the St.Croix Sports Committee had multiple issues that caused the event to be postponed.

“The main reason for the event being pushed back is due to a conflict in other university activities on both St.Croix and St.Thomas,” Finch-Simpson said. Continue reading Spring Olympics Canceled

Buccaneers Male Basketball Team

UVI’s male basketball team let down fans and coaches with a 10-game losing streak in the 2014 basketball season

SHARI CHRYSS ALFRED|

ST. THOMAS- School spirit remains low as the University of the Virgin Islands’ male basketball team ended the season losing all of the 10 games played.

With a team of only eight players, the Bucs faced many struggles this season that may have contributed to the 10-game losing streak, disappointing fans, coaches and the university community.

Due to many last years’ team being no longer qualified to take part in the Inter-university  Athletic League, coaches recruited as many  as 25 potential athletes during the summer and fall semesters. Continue reading Buccaneers Male Basketball Team

Gearing up for Spring Olympics

2014 University of the Virgin Islands Spring Olympics

Augustus Laurencin Jr.|

ST.CROIX – March is fast approaching, and this means it’s time to gear up for this year’s University of the Virgin Islands Spring Olympics.

The annual event, previously set for March 21-23, has been rescheduled for April 26 with the St. Thomas athletes arriving to St Croix.

The sports committee will hold  a briefing of the rules and standards of all the sports.

The purpose of the games is to generate friendly competition as well as bragging rights between UVI’s St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses.

Students competing in past Spring olympics the swimming event
Students competed in S. Thomas  last spring for the swimming event.

Students from both campuses will unite to compete in a total of 15 games, 14 of which were chosen by St.Croix and one by St.Thomas. The school receiving the most trophies and medals in all events will receive an overall trophy.

Sports committee members from both campuses selected the games. The event will feature physical tests, volleyball, a dance off, basketball, track and field, tennis, kickball, football,a  juggle off, dominoes, ping pong, swimming, beach soccer, and billiards.

“Soccer, swimming, dominoes, and possibly volleyball will be held on the beach,” St. Croix Sports Committee Chairperson Gilbert Roberts said.

Students will be selected based on their skill level of the sport as well as their abilities to contribute to the team.

“Last year St. Croix won tennis, softball, ping-pong, cycling and the obstacle course,” Roberts said. “Basketball had a nail biting finish in last year’s Spring Olympics which left the St. Croix campus bitter from the loss.”

St. Thomas and St. Croix play against each other in flag football.
St. Thomas and St. Croix play against each other in flag football.

St. Thomas won more events in the last olympics and this won them the overall competition.

“This defeat has left a bad taste in the mouths of many St. Croix students who traveled to St. Thomas last year,” Rogerts said. “We are eager to protect home court and avenge last year’s loss. ‘Many students are eager to promote awareness of the event by hanging a banner to advertise the event.’

Anticipation, which is not only felt by the students, but also by the committee.

“The committee is excited about the event and hope it promotes unity between the students on both campuses as well as the competition,” Roberts said.

For more  information about the Spring Olympics, individuals can contact Chairpersons Gilbert Roberts and Shanah Bannis, or Student Activities Advisor Hedda Finch-Simpson .

It’s Volleyball Season at UVI

It’s Volleyball Season at UVI

Denae Fleming|

ST.CROIX – Students at the University of the Virgin Islands took part in the co-ed intramurals volleyball game Monday night behind the campus cafeteria just south of the campus dorms.

Student Teams Taking part in the Intramural Volleyball League
Student Teams Taking part in the Intramural Volleyball League

The university’s intramurals volleyball league played for the second time Monday night around 9 p.m. on the basketball court with teams “Stop Playing” against “We Would Hit It.”

The volleyball season officially kicked off last week on Thursday night and usually starts each year in September.

“Coach Bruce Ray has been doing most of the intramurals as far as putting the sport together and organizing the schedule here at the university and this year we started early,” Roderick Moorehead Jr. one of the coaches for the volleyball teams, said.

While enjoying the game with the rest of the audience Moorehead also said, “One of the main purposes for this weekly activity is to inspire campus life. It’s always great when you have students who have the interest to play.”

The league plays every Monday and Thursday at 9 p.m. with a second game following immediately after.

“If you want to take part in the sport you have to be somewhat serious. You can come and just play for fun but there should be a level serious interest in joining the teams,” Makeem Perinon said.

IMAG2946
Student Teams Taking part in the Intramural Volleyball League

Perinon is a part of the Virgin Islands Juniors National Volleyball team and is also a sophomore studying criminal justice. He heard about the student activity at the University and became immediately interested. He decided to take part and started his own team called Go Hard for the intramural league.

The game is free to the public. It gives students on campus an opportunity to leave the dorms and enjoy a moment of interaction with other students on and off court.

From basketball pants to short skirts

A UVI BUCCS Cheerleader

SHARI CHRYSS ALFRED

ST. THOMAS- When 19-year-old DeLanni Matthew was surrounded by friends who all wanted to become members of the Buccaneer’s Cheerleading Squad last Spring, she decided to give it a shot.

Years ago, skirts didn’t exist to her. She would put up a fight whenever someone tried to get her out of her favorite basketball shorts. Now she can be found courtside shaking her pom poms in a tiny skirt.

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DeLanni Matthew before the 2013 Homecoming Game.
Photo Credit: Shari Chryss Alfred

To most of her friends, it was quite a shocker.

“Are you serious, I don’t even know who you are anymore,” ToQuoya George, long time friend of Matthew, said.

In junior high, when all the girls in her class were having conversations about hair and nails, she often stood out.

“I was the outsider all the time,” Matthew said, “I preferred basketball.”

Cheerleading, however, wasn’t the breakthrough for her.

She didn’t quite fit the petite look of the majorettes you see competing in the World Baton Twirling Federation International Cup, but she practiced baton twirling each summer with the Lutheran Church of Reformation from the young age of seven.

For this 5’9” computer science sophomore, the change officially began eight years ago. This was when she fully dedicated her heart to the sport and began twirling professionally.

“All the girly girls call themselves fashionistas, but me I’m a batonista,” Matthew said. “Twirling for me is more than just fun – it’s a way of life.”

Matthew was one of the few Charter Members of the eight-time champions, the St. Thomas Majorettes, Inc.

“I got a phone call from the assistant director of the organization and I took her to the first practice and we haven’t left since,” Brenda Monsanto, Matthew’s mother, said. “I didn’t take her seriously because whenever I tried to get her involved in something she never stuck to it but she proved me wrong.”

Even though she had been used to performing, for her, being a cheerleader was like being a totally different person.

“Cheerleaders are supposed to have school spirit and be perky all the time and that wasn’t me,” Matthew said.

To many, Matthew is considered a star performer. Her fellow cheerleaders look up to her and expect a lot.

“DeLanni Matthew is a talented and well-rounded student. The enthusiasm and skill that she has brought to the team is a great example of what a university cheerleader should look like,” Thia Homer, captain of the Bucs Cheerleading Squad, said. “She represents us well and is always encouraging others to do well also.”

Outside of classes, she has been very involved in student organizations. She is known for her participation in the Social, Cultural and Carnival Organizing Committee in the 2012-2013 school year. Many of her peers were granted an opportunity to see her perform in the Dining Pavilion during the First Annual Carnival Week in March of 2013.

Caption DeLanni performs chair stunts during Smith Bay Carnival 2012 Photo Credit Naheem Mason
Caption DeLanni performs chair stunts during Smith Bay Carnival 2012
Photo Credit Naheem Mason

Matthew also enjoys reading, playing games on her iPad and most importantly spending time with family and friends outside of school and performances.

Though she is over the age limit to perform in the annual Carnival Children’s Parade whenever there is an opportunity to perform, on or off island, she goes for it.

“DeLanni has proven herself to be a very dedicated and talented contributing member to the majorettes,” said Alicia Gumbs, secretary of the organization. “Even though she has graduated and is attending college, she continues to give up her time in order for the group to remain a success.”

So when you see her around campus, baton or no baton, pom poms or no pom poms, feel free to ask her to show you one of her famous “Olympic” toe touches. If you get lucky, she might even teach you.
Caption: Matthew poses before 2011 Paradise Jam Games. Photo Credit: Brenda Monsanto
Matthew poses before 2011 Paradise Jam Games.
Photo Credit: Brenda Monsanto

A Field All Our Own

UVI Soccer Fields: To play or not to play?

ARIGE SHROUF| Sept. 28                                                                                                  

ST. CROIX— The two soccer fields on the Albert A. Sheen campus are not being used after being called “unplayable” which is putting a strain on the BUCCS soccer team.

After three years of planning and construction, the university is doing maintenance on the fields such as cutting the grass and marking the field.

The fields should be available to the players by November but no later than spring 2014.

The Daily News published an article on Sept. 9 that called the UVI performance field “a field of dreams deferred.” It noted the condition of the field: the slope, the holes, the anthills and weeds. The field was “deemed unplayable” after a failed inspection from the Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria in August. Without the Liga Atlética’s approval, the field cannot be used for league matches.

“The biggest impact” of that decision has been a financial one, as the university tries to “address concerns brought up in the report” said Nereida Washington, Director of Campus Operations on the Albert A. Sheen Campus.

Travel to Puerto Rico for games can also get costly, but the decision impacts the students as well.

“Our students are the only ones in the league that have to travel for all of the games,” Washington said. “We have lost the home game advantage of being able to have fans and spectators who favor the UVI BUCCS on the sidelines.”

In addition to being at a disadvantage in terms of support, the UVI students may also end up missing classes to attend games.

Some team members don’t mind all the traveling or having to miss classes. They view the constant traveling as an exciting experience.

“I like traveling to Puerto Rico for games” Ismail Yusuf, a freshman member of the soccer team said.

Without a soccer field on which to play some of the league matches at home, the soccer team members have to travel to Puerto Rico for every game. Although some students view away games as a good thing, this constant travel could affect their performance in class since they will be missing so many classes and having to catch up.

“The university is seeking to increase athletic and physical education opportunities for student athletes on St. Croix and the V.I.” Washington said. The soccer fields, one for practice and one for games, would provide those opportunities but they are not being used.

Washington said “Intramural and athletic programs are key to your experience in [college]” so the university is working to make the fields ready for use.

Despite the league’s decision, UVI officials consider the fields “playable.”

Washington said that “given the concerns that were raised, the field is not being used.” She said the fields would begin to be used by the BUCCS between November and December, but “definitely in the spring.”

According to Washington, the Liga Atlética’s inspection impacts the ability for the UVI BUCCS to play on the field” but not the university’s. Washington said the inspection “is not a requirement to play.”

“There is no required inspection done by a body in order to play. We will use the Athletic director’s, the soccer coach’s [and other individuals’] evaluation of the fields to make sure that [they are] maintained properly so that [they are] playable,” Washington said.

Despite UVI officials’ assurances that the field is “playable,” the university has been taking steps to improve the condition of the performance field.

The primary measure is a process called top-dressing in which the holes are filled in with a mixture of soil and sand. The process would have to be done either “annually or biannually,” said Washington.

The university marked the performance field and had the grass mowed on Sept. 16.

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Ronald Joseph marking performance field on Sept. 16; Photo credit- Arige Shrouf

“Everything we are doing is part of a maintenance program” Washington said, so there are “no extra costs.” The funds to “maintain a high performance field” come from the “grounds budget.”

Maintenance of the field involves processes such as reseeding, which is “recommended nine times a year,” Washington said.

It also involves mowing the grass “twice a week” physical plant employee, Ephraim Rodriguez said.

When asked to give his perception of the field, Rodriguez pointed out the fact that “there are no benches and no bathrooms, so that could be inconvenient.”

According to Washington, the university is well aware of these concerns and is working on them. A bleacher was purchased last year, although it was not put out because it would get in the way of field improvements.

“The goal is to move in that direction where all these amenities will be available,” Washington said.