Our Shared History
Albertus Magnus High School officially opened to students in September 1957. For the first 13 years of the school’s existence Falcon athletes participating in cross country, baseball, soccer or track and field practiced in the AM parking lot, or in a cleared space in the woods beside the school. Even when they were listed as the home team, Albertus went to other venues in the county for meets and games.
The home team never had the home field advantage for over a decade.
In October 1970, the track and fields at Albertus Magnus were dedicated by Terrence Cardinal Cooke. Albertus ushered in a new era of prosperity, boasting a “state of the art” facility for its expanding enrollment and sports offerings including freshman and JV baseball and soccer, and intramural football.
In the 70’s, Title IX rightfully brought an additional set of women’s sports to the fields – from softball to soccer to track and cross country. The intervening years have seen the addition of varsity and JV football, boy’s and girl’s lacrosse and girl’s field hockey. All have been lucky enough to play with the home field advantage.
In those years Albertus athletes, parents and boosters have participated in numerous PSAL titles, a few New York State titles (Boys Soccer and Cross Country), heart-stopping wins, heartbreaking losses, and countless lessons learned about the nature of sport, sportsmanship, and life.
It’s estimated that there have been about 44,000 sporting events and practices on the Albertus track and field in the past 47 years. That is our glorious and shared history as alumni of Albertus Magnus. It was, and remains – a school like no other.
But like any 47-year old with that kind of mileage, our track and our fields are showing their age. While the number of sports has increased ten-fold since 1970, the footprint on which those games are played remains as it was the day they were dedicated. We can no longer hold track meets at Albertus due to State-wide standards and safety issues that the existing track cannot meet. The soccer field on Friday becomes the football field on Saturday and the lacrosse or field hockey field on Monday. There is no rest for the fields, and grass doesn’t grow in July.
It’s time for a new track and new fields at Albertus Magnus – long past time. The vision is a new track that meets all State and safety standards, and new multi-purpose turf fields (upper and lower) suitable for decades of games and practices to come, and a differentiator for prospective student athletes in a very competitive Catholic High School market. Information about how we can all participate in helping make this vision a reality for the generations of Falcons still to come, can be found on the following pages.
One anecdote: The boys’ soccer team won the New York State championship in 2006 despite playing all their sectional and championship games as the visiting team. They had to give up the home field advantage that was rightfully theirs – travelling to schools across the state because the upper field was not playable due to overuse. We should never have to give up home field advantage again.
With your help, we won’t. We have a shared responsibility. We can create a shared legacy. We are – and always will be - AM.