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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
ArlingtonCommentary: Fields, buildings in close quarters

Commentary: Fields, buildings in close quarters

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Maybe because of significantly less land and overall available space at some local private-school campuses, many of the varsity football fields at those venues are situated quite close to the school buildings.

Sometimes that works as an asset. But it also can prove annoying.

The gridiron at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria is just feet away from the main building, with the home bleachers at best just six or seven strides from an outside wall.

Same at Flint Hill, Bishop O’Connell and Potomac Schools. The fields there also are very close to those main structures.

The field is so close to the old main gym at McLean’s Potomac School, assistant coaches from both teams sometimes stand on the roof during games to watch for various reasons – filming the action or relaying information over their headsets. 

That also used to be the same setup at the old Paul VI Catholic campus in Fairfax. One of the buildings there was even closer to the multi-use field than at Ireton or the Potomac School. On the rare occasion, long home runs hit from the baseball diamond would land on the Paul VI roof.

(The Paul VI campus has since moved to a spacious site in Ashburn, with the football field much farther away from the school building.)

Flint Hill didn’t have any such field and building closeness issue until a couple of years ago. That’s when a new addition to the school was put next to the turfed football expanse. So close, the structure includes concrete stands, enough for both home and visiting spectators.

In contrast, public high schools tend to have many more acres than private facilities. So their football fields, in most cases, are located quite a distance from buildings, often stuck well behind them some place.

So the field situations all depend  on the amount of land.

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