Algonquin coaches talk about proposed athletic complex


Algonquin coaches talk about proposed athletic complex
Jon Cahill examines a portion of the football field at Algonquin Regional High School. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – About 10 years ago, Jon Cahill played football at Algonquin Regional High School.

At that point, there were conversations regarding upgrades to the high school’s athletic complex. Now, plans to renovate the athletic complex are again on the horizon.

“Now, here I am, fourth year coaching, fourth year working at the school, I’m on the committee, and we’ve made a lot of progress getting to the turf complex, but we still don’t have it,” said Cahill.

“I think a new facility with two turf fields, a track, new bleacher setup, I think it would drive excitement in the school community and both towns as a whole,” said football Head Coach Mark Allen. “I think you would see more kids come out for each sport, but I also think the current kids on the team, they would be just that more excited to come out and play even harder with the new facility.”

Algonquin coaches talk about proposed athletic complex
Part of this project will also involve the tennis courts. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

Track shut down for home meets 

The varsity and multi-purpose fields were installed in the 1970s, and the track was installed in 1994.

Walking around the track at Algonquin, track coach Andy Boschetto said it was more patches than track.

“We’re not competing at home at all this year. We’ve shut the track down for home meets,” said Boschetto.

Boschetto has been at Algonquin for 28 years. He said he’s lost some track athletes to other schools because of the athletic facilities, and the number of athletes coming out for the track team have decreased.

The Titans are competing away for all of their meets, and some teams have refused to compete at Algonquin, Boschetto said.

“We ended up having to go there last year,” he said. “We worked out the schedule that we did have two home meets and two away meets because some of the teams didn’t mind coming.”

The Titans are still practicing at home. Boschetto said the track team can control their practices by moving to the grass or moving to other places. However, he said it’s been a “challenge” practicing in the current athletic complex.

“[The track is] a little wet right now,” said Boschetto. “If you walk on the track, you’ll notice that it’s a little slippery. So, we have to be very careful.”

That means that the athletes can’t participate in some activities — such hurdles — as if they’re not wearing their spikes.

Field compaction 

Under the plans, the varsity and multi-purpose field would become turf. Additionally, the grandstands would be upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and an amphitheater would be installed.

School officials have noted that over years and with the amount of use, the soil becomes compacted.

The soil compaction makes it feel like “concrete” when a football player is tackled, said Allen. Plus, the field is uneven, meaning if a player takes a wrong step, they could injure their knee or ankle.

The football team isn’t allowed to practice on the game field, according to Allen.

Algonquin coaches talk about proposed athletic complex
A look at the multipurpose field at Algonquin. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

The Titans instead practices on multipurpose field, which would also become a turf field. However, if that field is wet, Allen said the team isn’t allowed to practice on it. That means practice would have to be canceled or the team would have to wait until the evening when they could use space in the gym.

“Which is, in my opinion, a competitive disadvantage for the team, but also not having the ability to do a regular practice on a grass field takes away from the experience for the kids,” said Allen.

Most of the schools that Algonquin plays football against has a turf field.

“Not being able to practice on it and getting use to the difference of speed between turf and grass — it’s a disadvantage for our athletes,” said Boschetto.

For more information on the project, visit


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