New turf field coming to BT
Blessed Trinity is excited an artificial turf field will be constructed at the school in 2022. Pictured left to right are vice principal Dominic Scozzafava, outgoing principal Joe Zaroda and vice principal Krista Moscato.
In a drawer in his desk, outgoing Blessed Trinity principal Joe Zaroda has a folder with logos of various nicknames for the Catholic high school in Grimsby.
In June 1994, Zaroda, one of the five original teachers at the school, ran a contest for students in the feeder schools for Blessed Trinity to come up with the school colours, a moniker and a school mascot. The name Thunder was officially chosen and was in place when the school launched with 77 students in the fall of 1994.
Fast forward to 2021 and Blessed Trinity is now the largest secondary school in the Niagara Catholic District School Board and the school’s burgeoning population will soon be wearing the school’s colours on an artificial turf field.
The NCDSB recently announced it would spent $3 million to install turf fields at Blessed Trinity and Notre Dame. Trustees also approved funding in annual budgets moving forward with a goal of ensuring all eight Catholic high schools in the board have turf fields in the future. As of now, only Saint Paul has a turf field.
“This is fantastic,” Zaroda said. “Blessed Trinity was built on a strong connection it has with Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln. The partnerships we have had with the community and the strong support from the parents staff and students has truly made Blessed Trinity what it is.
“I see this as an incredible opportunity to continue those partnerships and connections with the communities we serve.”
The turf field will allow the school to support school programs and after school programs.
“They will have access to fields throughout the year and it is going to allow Blessed Trinity to continue to grow,” Zaroda said.
Incoming principal Jim Whittard is thrilled with the news and he’s thankful for all the work Zaroda has put in to make the field a reality.
“This infrastructure improvement will impact all of our phys-ed classes, athletic teams and our community,” he said. “Our premier teams will now have an elite level playing surface to develop their skills and, most importantly to compete on.”
Whittard described the field as an amazing opportunity provided by the vision of the NCDSB’s director and trustees.
“We look forward to fulfilling that vision.”
Zaroda praised the efforts of NCDSB director Camillo Cipriano and Clark Euale, the board’s controller of facilities services.
In a report to the board, Euale pointed out the benefits of turf fields over traditional grass, which includes increased playing time, fewer injuries, lower maintenance costs, opportunities for community partnerships and less downtime on the fields due to inclement weather.
“Turf fields provide school boards with the opportunity to build relationships with the community, and recover the initial investment through fees and lower maintenance costs over the life of the field,” Euale said in a press release. “We are extremely pleased that our board of trustees has supported this initiative, which will level the playing field for students over time.”
Construction of the field will start in the spring and summer of 2022 and Zaroda is OK with not being at BT to see the fruits of his labours.
“I’m just super-excited, happy for the community and overjoyed that it is happening,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who is here because I have a special love and connection for Blessed Trinity and I only want the best for it.”
Zaroda is excited on behalf of Whittard.
“I think he will bring it to another level. He has experience at Saint Michael’s with construction and planning and that will help with planning of the field and whatever else that will come along with it,” he said.
Senior football coach Sean Jones describes the turf field as a great improvement to BT’s athletic facilities.
“It will make it easier to accommodate the demands of various sports teams throughout the school year and provide our student-athletes with a safe and reliable surface,” he said. “The entire Blessed Trinity community should be excited about the possibilities that this new field will make possible.”