The Brighton High School football team lost their home turf, Daly Field, in the late 1980s due to major disrepair and deterioration. The team has bounced from field to field ever since. The Bengals have a strong history, winning championships nearly every season. Despite their success, the team held practices at Cassidy Playground, a field full of geese, holes, and rocks. The players would change into their gear under the trees instead of a locker room, and travel nearly 2 hours across town for games.
Assistant Head Coach, Renel Jean, blamed the poor conditions of the Cassidy Playground field for numerous injuries and called it a “sad situation” for the football program. This season, big changes are coming to the Bengals when they begin practicing and playing games at the newly refurbished Daly Fields. The Daly Field Athletics Complex was a $13.5 million renovation project funded by Simmons College.
The Daly Field renovations included the construction of a new field house, 6 tennis courts, a track, and synthetic turf fields that can host soccer, lacrosse, softball, field hockey, and football. The new fields are a huge victory for Simmons College and the local community. Mayor Marty Walsh said “turning an unusable and unsafe field into a state-of-the-art athletic complex for the entire community is exactly the type of innovation that makes Boston shine.” Walsh praised the project for “investing in the Boston Public School system, and giving students resources to reach their full potential.”
The synthetic turf surfaces can be used 24/7 all year round, and don’t require rest and rotation periods like natural grass. The fields can also be used in heavy rain without flooding or pooling on the surface. The Daly Fields are environmentally friendly, and don’t require watering, fertilization, or pesticides. The Simmons College athletic director explained the benefits, saying “there is no other field that is available for public use in New England that is as environmentally sound as this one is.”
Brighton High will play on one of the brand new synthetic turf surfaces, which was constructed from all natural materials and features
a Brock ShockPad to reduce injuries and concussions. The Bengal’s head coach and athletic director, Randolph Abraham, said Daly Field is the “best field in Massachusetts. Not even the Patriots have what we have.”
Abraham and the Brighton High players are excited to have a real home-field advantage. “Its a different sense of pride when you have your own field,” said Abraham, “we haven’t had that feeling before.” The Bengals first game at Daly Field kicks off on September 9th.