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St. Francis Gets New Locker Room Facility
LORETTO — Facilities make a difference for every college athletic program, and a project in the final stages at St. Francis University will improve a number of sports for the Red Flash.
A new field house has been constructed and is located at the end of DeGol Field, the multi-sport facility that is home to the football, track and field, lacrosse, and field hockey teams.
The facility will be ready for use with the teams that compete in the fall.
“We are completing the final touches to the exterior of the building and the walkway leading into it,” St. Francis Athletic Director Bob Krimmel said earlier this month. “The inside locker room area has been completed, with an asterisk. That asterisk is that (the contractor has) 25 additional lockers to be installed when they arrive.”
The field hockey team will be the first to use the facility, but the football team may see the most significant improvement in game situations. In previous years, the two teams dressed at the Maurice Stokes Athletics Center, which is located across the campus from DeGol Field, and walked across campus or rode the bus there. The field is located in what is known as the Pine Bowl. The teams would stay under tents or under the bleachers at halftime.
Now, the teams will dress in the field house and will have their halftime meetings in the facility. Training rooms will also provide help to the athletes prior to and after the games.
Dave Opfar, who is entering his seventh season as football coach, believes that this is another step in making his program competitive.
“It is just another sign that the university is serious about improving the facilities so that we can be on a level playing field in the Northeast Conference,” Opfar said. “Certainly, this is going to help with recruiting. It shows the players that they have their own home, and this building will help us develop into a competitive program.”
The DeGol Field complex received its major funding from a gift from the Bruno and Lena DeGol family. The field was completed in the fall of 2005, and stadium seating, a press box, and an all-weather track were finished the following spring.
The stadium seating has a capacity of 3,450.
The field house will provide locker rooms for field hockey and lacrosse, in addition to football.
The facility also has an area that will be used as a new weight room in the future. That will be located in the basement of the field house. New offices for coaches and new lockers for the track and field team will also be included.
They will be included in the next phase as money becomes available, Krimmel said.
The football team has started practicing but it is using the facilities at the Stokes Center until the new field house is completed.
St. Francis gets new locker room facility
By Hugh Conrad, The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat