Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

A Change in Turf

Credit lindsay smith

Photo Credit: Lindsay Smith

After spending the first two seasons and nearly all of the 2013 fall camp practicing at Dub Farris Stadium, the Roadrunners now have a place on campus to call home.

On Monday, Aug. 29, Head Coach Larry Coker and his Roadrunners transitioned from Dub Farris to the new practice field built behind the Main Campus rec center and between the softball and baseball fields. The Roadrunners will hold their practices for the rest of the season in the space the track and field team previously occupied. Thanks to the newly built Park West Athletics Complex that opened the prior weekend, the cross country teams have also transitioned to a new home.

The practice field comes at a time when UTSA prepares for its toughest seasonto date as a result of its jump to Conference USA (C-USA).

“(The new practice field) is phenomenal. This is great. I’m excited about it, but more importantly than that, our players are just really elated about it,” said Coker. “I really appreciate what Dr. Romo and Lynn Hickey have done. It’s just a beautiful place. I haven’t been around any better, to be quite honest with you, so I’m very pleased about it. It’s going to help us be better.”

Having the field on campus makes a huge difference for the players as they transition from practice to their classes.

“Just to go downstairs and get dressed for practice or to go to class is huge. Because there is so much time in transit that the coaches and players have had to do in the past with us being off campus, this saves a lot of time,” said Coker. “Honestly, we would come back from practice and there’d be no parking on campus because of the crowds. This is really special for us to be able to do this.”

The new field is separated into four sections, allowing position players enough space to get their work done without interfering with one another.

“We’ve got real goal posts up, real college goal posts up on both ends. We’ve got film towers. We’ve got basically the same thing everybody else has,” said Coker. “We’re really appreciative of it. It really means a lot to us, a lot to the program and a lot to recruiting, because people can use that against us. ‘They don’t have any facilities, they don’t have any place to practice, and they practice on a high school field.’ All those types of things, but we have a place to practice now.”

Now, the Roadrunners can be physically seen on campus, increasing the awareness and excitement of the student body towards supporting the team. Senior offensive lineman Nate Leonard couldn’t help but notice how close the new field is to his dorm.

“You know what was crazy? I couldn’t stop looking at my dorm room,” said Leonard. “You can see your fellow students walking by practice, seeing what’s going on. It’s exciting, not only for us but for the university. The students are going to be able to relate more to the football team. They’re going to class; they see us practice; they see guys that are in their classes; it’s just a great thing that we have here now.”

The time spent at Dub Farris was important for the growth of the football program, Coker continued.

“I want to thank the Northside Independent School District,” said Coker. “That was awesome for them to allow us to use Dub. I think it got our program jump-started as much as anything. We appreciate that.”

Coker and his staff saw the UTSA players’ excitement as they took the field for practice early that first Monday morning.

“It was a lot of fun. It’s incredible to think of where we came from (Dub Farris). It’s actually like we are a real college team now,” said senior linebacker Steven Kurfehs.

For senior Eric Soza, who has been the starting quarterback since the program’s inaugural season, practicing on the field is already feeling like home.

“It’s a whole new beginning. It’s a new conference, and it’s a new time here at UTSA,” Soza said. “It’s good to actually have something that we can call our own.”

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