UMaine coaches feel new facilities will drastically change their programs
“It’s such an uplifting feeling.”
ORONO, Maine (WABI) - UMaine’s facilities will transform all the Black Bears programs’ abilities to not only train and compete but also recruit. For UMaine soccer, it means they actually have a home of their own.
“It’s such an uplifting feeling,” says UMaine head soccer coach Scott Atherley, “From within our program, for somebody that’s been here for a long time, just to be able to share that news that now, today I’d say things became tangible.”
No more soccer games played on a small field at the baseball stadium. Actual home games on campus, in upgraded stadiums, which the coaches all say will make a difference in recruiting.
“Will transform the old girl which has enormous benefits in recruiting,” says UMaine head men’s hockey coach Red Gendron, “The amenities of improved weight room, a world class locker room, all of that sort of stuff matters to young kids we’re recruiting.”
“I’d like to think that a lot of schools don’t win, that’s not the reason kids pick them,” says UMaine head women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon, “But I can tell you that is the reason that kids will cross you off the list really quickly.”
“We never bring them to our field. We never show them their field unless we happen to be playing and they are attending one of our games,” says Atherley, “When you think about how important that is to a prospect, the field, and the facilities, and their development in their craft. Really we’re trying to create a wow factor when we bring players on. Now we are going to have that ability to meet our recruits on our field.”
It creates a sense of campus pride.
“I remember when I played we played at Alfond, and to walk across the parking lot, and go to your game instead of taking a bus 20 minutes down the road. There’s a feeling of OK, this is home,” says Vachon, “This is actually, I can walk here and, walk here at any time. Shoot at the place that I play our games at any time.”
The Alfond Arena won’t be torn down for a new model. Coach Gendron likens the “old girl” as he calls her, to Fenway Park.
“A new facility was discussed. Elements of the Alfond Arena are almost impossible to reproduce with modern structures,” says Gendron, “Yeah, it’s absolutely one of the things that has sustained us throughout our history.”
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