A fitting start for DeConto Stadium

  • Led by team captain Caroline McKenna, the SHS varsity girls soccer team presents seven white roses to Patricia DeConto, the mother of USN Capt.Led by team captain Caroline McKenna, the SHS varsity girls soccer team presents seven white roses to Patricia DeConto, the mother of USN Capt. Gerald DeConto, who was killed at the Pentagon during the September 11 terrorist attacks. Courtesy photo

Craig Salters Sandwich Wicked Local

The new synthetic turf at Sandwich High School will be used by many Blue Knight teams for years to come but there was never any doubt as to which team should use it first.

The Sandwich High School varsity girls’ soccer team, coached by David DeConto, christened the Capt. Gerald F. DeConto Veterans Memorial Stadium Friday afternoon (Oct. 17) on a gorgeous autumn day. They defeated Nantucket 5-1 on a sparkly new field that will be soon be the centerpiece of a stadium complex that honors the life of David’s brother, Gerald DeConto, a Navy captain who was killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks while working at the Pentagon.

As of now, that turf field and a state-of-the-art track sit among construction “caution” tape and the muddy tread marks of heavy machinery. The lights surrounding the new field were put up just hours before soccer game and had yet to be connected.

Still, absolutely none of that mattered Friday. What did matter was that the young women wore patches emblazoned with Capt. DeConto’s name and his old number 7, the number DeConto wore as a standout soccer player at SHS in the 1970s. What mattered was that the team presented Patricia DeConto, Capt. DeConto’s mother, with seven white roses. What also mattered were the hundreds who attended the pre-game dedication ceremonies and also donned the commemorative patches, including the game’s referees and members of the visiting team.

John Wegman, whose daughter Liz plays for the Blue Knights, said the team just wanted to make a small gesture to the DeConto family. “It was a group effort,” he said.

Tim Paul, marketing director and treasurer for the non-profit spearheading construction of the complex, agreed. He said work continues on such items as the lights, the embankment, the stands, and the press box to create a stadium worthy of the DeConto name and one the town can be proud of. For more information on the overall project, residents can visit www.sandwichsportscomplex.org.

Paul thanked the DeConto family for spearheading stadium efforts and residents for their support, both in general and in the form of CPA (Community Preservation Act) funding. He also thanked Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, for adding the $500,000 needed for the turf field as part of the state budget when funding became a concern.

Even as fundraising and construction efforts continue, Paul couldn’t help but get in the spirit of the day and appreciate the new field before him, one that will be a benefit to Sandwich sports teams for the next decade.

“Look at it,” he said. “It’s spectacular.”

The members of the 2014 SHS girls varsity soccer team are: Megan Baker, Stef Brigs, Rachel Lake, Maggie LeVangie, Colleen Macdonald, Caroline McKenna, Bella Collentro, Helen Colwell, Megan Forrester, Staci Hopkins, Rae LaRochelle, Becca Mandy, Tatum Tropp, Liz Wegman, Hailey Whelan, Julia Hanson, Olivia Horman, Kay Stanton, Halle Steele, and Sara MacFarland.

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