Clark Field Dedicated to Lacrosse

President Powers was late to the show because university presidents sometimes have to testify on higher education at the Capitol, but Clark Field was officially renamed the Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field on Friday afternoon.

Former UT System Board of Regents chairman H. Scott Caven Jr. and his wife, Vivien, made the first significant gift to launch the renovation of Clark Field. Friday was the final step in a six-and-a-half-year effort to bring a dedicated lacrosse field to UT.

In 2004, the Cavens’ son, Scotty, died in a car accident weeks before he was to start his freshman year as a Plan II Honors student. Scotty was an accomplished lacrosse player at St. John’s in Houston and planned to join the club team at Texas. Friday, Caven said that his family wanted to leave a permanent rememberance of Scotty on campus, and that they quickly focused on transforming Clark Field into one of the premier lacrosse fields in the southwest.

Hidden by San Jacinto Hall and the trees lining Waller Creek, the Caven Sports Center is the last green space on UT’s campus dedicated to student use.

Stefan Knipp, a UT lacrosse club alumnus, played his freshman year at Division I Bryant Univeristy in Rhode Island. He said that Caven reminded him of the fields he used to play on.

“This field is as nice as many of the places we played at when I was at Bryant,” he said. “With San Jac looming over the field and Waller Creek running right next to it, it feels like it belongs up east at a liberal arts school.”

Previously, the men and women’s club teams practiced and played at the intramural fields on Guadalupe and 51st. Now, they have an artificial turf surface with permanent lacrosse lines, a new field house, and a fully digital scoreboard.

Caven said that outside of the new center, the University of Denver—a Division I program that made its first final four NCAA tournament appearance last year—is the closest competing facility. He stated that hoped the field would take the club programs to new heights as well as encourage other schools in Texas and the Southwest to bring lacrosse fields to their campuses.

After the ceremony, both squads held 20 minute inter-squad scrimmages.

The Caven family was not alone in the $3 million donation that made the center possible. University alumni Gary and Sylvie Crum were instrumental in turning the field from a dream into a reality. Their daughter, Clayton, is a senior co-captain of the women’s club team. Last season, she was named a U.S. Lacrosse WCLA All-American.

“We got to have our first-ever practice on the new field Thursday night, and it was such an incredible moment,” Crum said. “I served on the Clark Field committee last semester, so once I finally stepped on the field for the first time, it was more than just a new field to play on—it was a whole process coming to fruition.”

Crum said that she hoped the field would push UT lacrosse towards Division I affiliation and help bring in new recruits from around the state and beyond. “I am so excited to know I was here for the beginning of what we hope becomes the legacy of Texas Lacrosse,” she said.

In other UT lacrosse news, Crum and men’s senior midfielder Johnny McKnight are currently in the running for Lacrosse Magazine’s club preseason player of the year. No other school has a member from both the men and women’s squads in the running. If you have 30 seconds, take the time to recognize two UT student/athletes as the best in the nation.

And if you find yourself on campus this spring, swing by the new Caven Lacrosse Field to see the fastest game on two feet in the prettiest setting this side of Denver.

Photos by Jeff Heimsath

 

 

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