I stand tall over the fresh, new fields on the Castleton State College campus. My glowing dome of light can be seen on many nights from the hills surrounding Castleton. I am Spartan Stadium and I have become a staple in my short time at college.I resemble a 19th century railroad station, but instead of passengers I house fans, and instead of trains, I cater to football, field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. My first official game was a loss from the defending North Atlantic Conference Champion field hockey team to Kean 6-0 on September 1. It would take another two weeks before the team would get their first win, and now they head into the NAC tournament with the second overall seed. Yet another successful Castleton squad. But 4,030 of my newest friends stampeded to my gates on September 5, to watch my first collegiate football game where the Spartans defeated Anna Maria 42-28.
Every team that calls me home refers to me as a facility, but I am so much more. I am the initial brick lain on Castleton’s pathway to future Division III prominence. I am the pride of over 185 college athletes gazing towards my lights in the distance as they stroll to class. I am the host of Vermont Principal’s Association Field Hockey State Championships, and the inaugural “Bucket Game” between Spartans football and Norwich football, Vermont’s only inter-state, college match-up of 2009.
I am also you and other Spartan fans alike. I am Tyler Carpenter, scoring the first touchdown in Spartans football history. I am Ricky Fan painting my face green and white while tailgating in Ellis parking lot, Frankie flute and the rest of the Spartan marching band, and Jenny Cheerleader and my fellow squad members beginning the “We are Spartans” cheer. I am all those who have found even more pride in the “small college with a big heart” through athletics.
I try my best to give the athletes a comfortable home so that they may entertain you and all fans alike, and in hopes you will continue to visit me. Since I have opened, Men’s Soccer attendance has nearly doubled since the year before, and I average about 3,000 fans for every home football game. I just wish there were more.
It saddens me that the fall sports season at Castleton is drawing to a close. I’m sure I will spend the winter months in the freezing Vermont snow seldom lit or visited. I will sit there in the cold, a slumbering giant, waiting for the first pounding of lacrosse cleats in the spring and the rustle and stirring of more fans emerging from their warm winter dwellings, eager to be outside.
Will next season bring the same friends? Will my beauty fade? Will I slip and become just another athletics facility in a year’s time? Or will more Spartan fans return and rejoice as their teams do battle? Only you the fan can determine my fate.