Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Sept. 2, 2020 — A renaissance, but a homeless one?

Remember this?

Well, it’s September, and two of the schools which had announced their closures in April have reopened as institutions independent of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.

The new schools are Hammonton St. Joseph’s Academy (N.J.) and Wildwood (N.J.) Catholic Academy. They are in the process of reopening, but a major part of the job of a school restart is looming.

As of right now, the sports teams from these two new/old schools are scrambling for places to play. The need is especially acute for St. Joseph’s, whose football and field hockey teams have contended for state titles in the last 20 years.

“We have options and some time to work things out,” St. Joseph athletic director Anne Marie Mercado tells The Camden Courier-Post. “These kids have been through a lot, they’re resilient. We want get them back on the field as soon as we can.”

The odd thing about the St. Joseph situation is that the infrastructure exists for the sports teams for the new Academy to play. However, many of the teams don’t have access to the former school’s facilities. The reason, according to reporting by the Courier-Post, is that the Diocese of Camden won’t allow the new Academy to buy the physical assets from the old school.

This is in contrast to the situation facing the school itself. St. Joseph’s Academy is holding classes in the old St. Joseph’s school, but the building is being leased from the Hammonton public school district.

I have a feeling that there’s going to be a co-operative agreement to allow the fall sports season to start in October, per the NJSIAA directives on fall sports in 2020. I just hope that the field hockey team gets a decent home ground to allow the team to recover from its form the last couple of seasons.

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