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A glimpse into Biddeford’s community through sports

New+logo+on+the+turf.+Photo+courtesy+of+Dennis+Walton.
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A glimpse into Biddeford’s community through sports

New logo on the turf. Photo courtesy of Dennis Walton.

New logo on the turf. Photo courtesy of Dennis Walton.

New logo on the turf. Photo courtesy of Dennis Walton.

New logo on the turf. Photo courtesy of Dennis Walton.

Grace Laverriere, Editor

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Crowds roaring. Plays shouting. Sweat dripping. The feeling of playing a game on the iconic Waterhouse Field is one like no other.

Biddeford’s newly renovated Waterhouse Field houses a whole new atmosphere. The field, a landmark to the community’s hardworking nature, hosts much more than sports games.

“It’s [Waterhouse Field] such a traditional place in Biddeford. It’s like the holy grail of football fields,” senior football captain Matthew Martel said.

The tradition of Waterhouse stems from Biddeford citizen’s deep roots.

“Everybody and their father and brothers played there. Everybody’s got a story about Waterhouse,” said Martel. “Everyone knows about Waterhouse, it’s an experience you could never explain to somebody who doesn’t play football.”

In May of 2017, the bleachers were torn down after field was condemned for unsafe conditions. The reality of possibly losing Waterhouse as a landmark tested the community.

“When [I found out] Waterhouse needed to be renovated, it wasn’t even a second thought,” said senior football captain Carter Edgerton. “Of course I was going to be there for the community.”

Now, this iconic field is back and better than ever, housing almost every fall sport’s home games.

View from the 50 yard line. Photo courtesy of Dennis Walton.

“It [Waterhouse] is so fun to play on,” said senior field hockey captain Hailey Allen. “It’s still in the same spot so it catches people’s attention with the great community renovations.”

There is a special feeling during the popular Friday night football games. Even from the ticket booth, the community feeling still comes through the wooden walls.

“A nice thing about the renovation is that not just the high school uses the field, the middle school sports have been using it as well,” said staff member and ticket booth saleswoman Joyce Tarpy. “The community as a whole loves the renovation, even people from away come in, look at the bricks, and they comment on the updates. When I was in high school, the bleachers at the games were always full and now, with the new facilities, I can see that starting to come back this year.”

The community at these games pushes athletes to do their best on and off the field.

“They [the community] make you want to play better for them,” said Edgerton. “For everything that they do for us, it really makes you appreciate it and want to give back to them with the way you play.”

A game played at Waterhouse is a way to feel like a community celebrity.

“It feels good to step on the field. Playing on such a big field is cool since you can look up into the stands and see [the stands] full of people cheering,” junior soccer player Maria Gagnon said.

For the athletes playing, the excitement of these games is second to none.

“Playing Friday nights with everyone screaming, you can’t even hear the cadence on the field. That right there just makes me want to be better at what I’m doing,” said Martel. “The next play, do something better, next practice, do something better. [That way] you can relive that feeling and have the most fun with it.”

Martel said Friday nights are special. This community feeling is completely unique.

“[Biddeford community] is pride-driven,” said Martel. “Biddeford people are like no other, they’ll do anything for anybody. It’s just a different community.”

For Biddeford community members, wherever you are in the state of Maine, it’s hard to find a place that has the same feeling as Biddeford.

“You can go to Saco, you can go to Bonny Eagle, you can go wherever you want. Nobody’s like the Biddeford community,” said Martel. “Whether we’re on top or on the bottom, there will always be people to support [us].”

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A glimpse into Biddeford’s community through sports