Parker School students, faculty, staff, and families gathered Nov. 30 to bless the school’s new regulation-sized soccer field. Following the blessing, the boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer teams’ kicked off their seasons with their very first games on that field.
They played against Kohala, and the boys prevailed in a 8-0 victory and the girls1-0.
The weather cooperated and lent a sunny afternoon for the events. The blessing, performed by Earl Regidor, Hawaiian Culture Center Manager at the Hualalai Resort, took place at 1 p.m.
Regidor spoke to the students and Parker community of the importance of stewarding the land and the field that has been entrusted to them.
Funds for the new soccer field were raised during Parker School’s Foundation for the Future two-year comprehensive campaign, which was launched in the fall of 2010 with the goal of raising $500,000 for the Annual Fund for Education and three major facilities improvements: upgrades to the historical theatre; the Lower School Library and Media Resource Center and what is now to be the First Hawaiian Bank Media Studio for the middle and upper school; and the soccer field.
Previously, the Parker soccer teams traveled to various fields in the community to practice and host “home” games.
Prior to the blessing and games, Parker senior and girls’ soccer captain Marit Winborne said, “This year the fact that we have a soccer field on our campus is really great … (it will) bring people closer to the school, and will encourage more students and faculty to come to our games, which will be really great and also just having it on our campus just makes it feel a whole lot more like a home game for us.”
“Parker athletics has really progressed a lot, especially since Ms. Whitfield came in, and started coaching. She’s the new athletic director. And finally we are getting a new soccer field. I feel like this is all the progression toward Parker School just being better at sports,” said senior and member of the boys’ soccer team Jesse Tarnas.
After the blessing, while the boys’ team warmed up for their game, Parker students and faculty enjoyed cake and a dance-off competition in a tent to the side of the field. The festivities served as a pep rally, charging the spectators with excitement for the games to come.
“It was a spectacular day, an amazing blessing, and the kids played really well, and I’m so very proud of them. Great start to the season, and let’s hope we can continue the amazing games that they’ve just had,” said Parker School athletic director, Ceri Whitfield.
For helping the soccer field become a reality, Parker School is grateful to: all the donors from the Parker School community; Foundation for the Future campaign chair and Parker board member John Ray; engineering consultant Peter Dahlberg; Goodfellow Bros., and Goodfellow’s regional manager Ed Brown, foreman Clifford Cox, and estimator Jim Foss; Marvin Palea of Kona Irrigation; Parker School maintenance director Eric Sills; Scott Nair; Michael McCullough; and Parker’s assistant headmaster Shellie Gressard, athletic director Ceri Whitfield, and the athletes who helped install irrigation equipment.
Headmaster Carl Sturges said, “I am so excited to have a real, first class soccer field for our kids. They have worked so hard, they deserve to have the best, and now they do.”
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