Watertown High School Sports Teams Using Alternate Facilities During 3 Years of Construction

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Natalie Nigito Photography Watertown High School’s football team begins the 2023 season with a road game in New Hampshire. They finished the 2022 season playing Belmont on the home field of the Boston Red Sox.

Moving to a temporary school and dealing with a field undergoing a turf replacement has required Watertown High School’s athletics program to be creative.

Watertown High School moved out of the old building on Columbia Street into the temporary modular school at PFC Richard Moxley Field for the start of the 2023-24 school year. WHS will also make use of facilities at the nearby Watertown Middle School, including for some of the sports programs. The new high school is expected to take three years to be constructed, and will be built on the same site as the old school.

The Raiders’ football team ended last year with the annual clash against Belmont at Fenway Park. Watertown will kick off the 2023 season Friday and will face a pair of out-of-state opponents, said Watertown Athletic Director Ryan Murphy.

“The first three are non-league teams: a team from Rhode Island (Mount Pleasant) is coming to Watertown (on Sept. 15), and they play in Manchester, New Hampshire,” Murphy said, referring to the game at Manchester West this Friday at 6 p.m. The third non-league game is against Southeast Regional Tech, and the Raiders will also host the annual Thanksgiving game against Belmont. See the 2023 Watertown varsity football schedule by clicking here.

The squad has not had use of the football field at Victory for preseason workouts, Murphy said, because the artificial turf is being replaced. The old turf was remove and has been recycled, according to an announcement by the City of Watertown.

The field is almost complete. “They are painting the (lines on the) field,” Murphy said.

While construction took place at Victory Field, the football, field hockey, and girls and boys soccer teams have been practicing at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School athletic fields next to Filippello Park.

“BBN has been a very generous host. We have been able to practice there a lot,” Murphy said. “Now we are hoping, with Victory done, field hockey and football can practice and play at Vic, which allows soccer to have more space at BBN.” 

The WHS field hockey team will begin its state title defense Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. against Arlington at Victory Field. See the season schedule here.

The first boys soccer game will be Thursday at Arlington, and the girls soccer squad faces Arlington at Grove Street field at Filippello Park on Thursday. See the boys soccer schedule here and the girls soccer schedule here.

The volleyball program will be most impacted by the move. The gym at the middle school is not properly set up to hold a high school volleyball game, so the Raiders has to find alternate venues.

“Volleyball will play four games at New Balance Track (in Brighton) and seven more at Belmont (High School),” Murphy said.

The first varsity volleyball game will be Thursday at New Balance. See the schedule here.

The gym will have the lines painted and the sockets installed to put up the volleyball court in the Watertown Middle School gym in preparation for next year, Murphy said. Currently, they can only be set up the short way across the basketball court.

In the winter, the Middle School Gym will also serve as home for the Watertown High School boys and girls basketball teams.

“Basketball will play home games there, too. I think it seats 450-500 (fans),” Murphy said. “We won’t be able to host tournament games there, but the regular season will be there. If we host the tournament we will have to find another place to play.” 

The girls basketball team will have a new leader this year, after longtime head coach Pat Ferdinand left to become the boys basketball coach at Framingham High School. Murphy said the finalists have been selected, and a new coach could be announced as soon as Friday.

The girls and boys cross country teams will not be impacted by the move. Both teams start their season at Arsenal Park on Sept. 12 against Arlington. See the schedule here.

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