By CHRIS BISHOP ‘18
The weather conditions were less than ideal for such a glorious, long-awaited event. Athletes from each sport poured into the tent, repping their jerseys for each respected team. They were closely followed by other faculty, donors, and the families of Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Kyle. Everyone shared the common expression of jubilance. The wait was over; Kyle and McLaughlin Fields were now officially opened to the students of Saint Ignatius and the citizens of Cleveland.
Mr. Rory Fitzpatrick ‘88 kicked off the ceremony by describing how the process of turfing the fields has gone back over 30 years. That vision is finally completed in 2017. Over 250 yards of turf were installed, he stated, giving everyone a safe facility to practice on. Mr. Fitzpatrick also made the claim that these fields are not just to develop teams into state champions, but they are also for developing students into men for others. Mr. John Gill ‘97 followed on the podium and announced the importance of the fields not just for Ignatius students, but for the Arrupe programs and citizens of Ohio City who were already having pick-up soccer games on the field. Finally, Rev. Raymond P. Guiao, S.J. ‘82 read from Peter’s letter to the Corinthians, a fitting story about athletes giving grace to God. The fields were then blessed with holy water, as Fr. Guiao claimed that the water currently falling from heaven onto the field was the holiest.
Saint Ignatius Athletics now have a new home. Kyle and McLaughlin Fields provide students with glorious turf practice facilities. The fields will also help the neighborhood of Ohio City by being open to residents and hosting events, such as The Ohio City Games. These fields will aid in producing great athlete after great athlete, but, more importantly, they will help students in their journey to become a Man for Others.