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Fields of dreams

When students returned to Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School for the 2016-17 academic year, they were greeted with a drastically different landscape.


Over the summer, Dominican Drive was transformed into a construction zone following the partnership between Prince William County and developers of the new Potomac Shores community to construct a sports complex adjacent to school property. In exchange for use of the John Paul the Great parking lots after school and on weekends, students at the school will have full use of the fields and recreation center for athletic practices, games and even physical education classes.


The 30-acre complex was named by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors in honor of Ali Blaire Krieger, an American professional soccer player from Dumfries. The state of the art recreation center will include nine multi-purpose athletic fields and a softball field, supplementing the school’s three fields. As the newest diocesan high school, John Paul the Great has experienced rapid growth since it opened in 2008 and the growth of the athletic program has mirrored that of its student population. Many students and staff are excited about the prospect of expanded practice facilities that will sustain the continued growth of the school’s athletic programs.


Angela Beacher, head coach of the girls’ varsity field hockey and soccer teams, expressed her enthusiasm for the new fields, “We play many of our opponents on artificial turf. Anyone who’s played on turf before knows that it makes for a different game —  the ball moves much faster. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to better prepare my girls for our games.”


Alexander Makki, a senior and member of the varsity soccer team expressed similar excitement for the future of the boys’ soccer team, “I am thrilled that younger players will benefit from the new fields.”


The girls’ softball team, perhaps the most excited of all the teams, are happy to finally have a home field to call their own. Freshman softball player Hannah Sanchez who plans to try out for the school team in the spring is excited about the field. “I’ve heard from older players that they have had to travel much farther in the past. It will be awesome to have a brand new field in our own backyard.”


The first phase of the project, which will include the first three multi-purpose fields and a diamond, is scheduled to be completed by 2017.




© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016