Mattituck lacrosse team finally has home on campus

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Walter Gatz of Mattituck working on what will become the Mattituck High School lacrosse team’s new home field.

The Mattituck High School boys’ varsity lacrosse team will finally get to play its home games on campus next spring, thanks to donations from two local businesses.

Gatz Landscaping and Briarcliff Landscaping and Sod are currently rehabilitating the turf at the center of the Mattituck track for use as a multi-purpose game field for lacrosse and possibly soccer.

Mattituck athletic director Gregg Wormuth said he’s coordinating the track and lacrosse schedules to ensure that those groups don’t use the facilities for competition at the same time. Last year, the lacrosse team practiced at Cutchogue East School and played games at Jean Cochran Park in Peconic.

“We tried, to the best of our ability, when our track team has an away meet we would play home then for lacrosse,” he said.

Mr. Wormuth said there has been a swale on one side of the field for years that fills with water after it rains, making it impossible to play games there. Gatz Landscaping, owned by the family of Mattituck school board member William Gatz, initially offered to donate its services to regrade and reseed that section of the field, but then agreed to resod the whole field after Briarcliff donated 75,000 square feet of sod.

“It was much needed. We just weren’t in a position at the beginning to do that,” said Mr. Wormuth. “It will be a great facility improvement. We really appreciate the generosity of people in the community, and the kids will certainly benefit. That’s the important part.”

Mr. Wormuth said that he wants to see how the turf holds up this spring before deciding whether to rest the field next fall or have soccer games played on it.

The school’s much-maligned cinder track, however, is far from being updated. Mr. Wormuth said the cost of the least expensive track upgrade with an all-weather surface is about half a million dollars. The district has just formed a committee to examine its options.

In the meantime, the athletic department is getting ready for its first true boys’ home lacrosse game.

“That has never happened before. We’re looking forward to it,” said Mr. Wormuth. “Lacrosse is a sport that’s growing quite rapidly. Lacrosse is big on Long Island, but more in Nassau and Western Suffolk. But we have a number of participants. We’re excited about it.”

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