Notre Dame High School President, Ken Jennings, and the Players Development Academy (PDA) announced last week a partnership that will include the construction of a new turf field on the school’s Lawrenceville campus. Yesterday, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held on the Notre Dame campus. Participants n the groundbreaking ceremony included: Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Trenton, Dick Smith, Chairman, ND Board of Governors, Ken Jennings, ND President, Joanna Barlow, ND Principal, Rich Roche, ND Athletic Director, Brian Grazier, PDA Technical Director and James Angiolino, ND and PDA Soccer Coach. Notre Dame student athletes were also on hand.
The new field will be the home of the PDA Hibernians under the leadership of Technical Director Brian Grazier as well as the Notre Dame Boys and Girls Soccer Teams and Boys Lacrosse Team. "PDA is excited to take this next step with Notre Dame High School. We look forward to positively impacting the community with our collaboration moving forward,” Grazier stated.
“This strategic partnership will be outstanding for the Notre Dame Community and PDA,” Jennings said. “A new field will be of great benefit to Notre Dame’s current and future athletes.”
The turf on Notre Dame’s Monsignor Nolan Stadium was replaced in March. When the new field is completed, Notre Dame will have two state of the art turf facilities. “The partnership and project are great for Notre Dame Athletics,” said Notre Dame Athletic Director Rich Roche. “With two turf fields, we will lose fewer games due to weather. Spreading out the wear and tear on both fields could extend the life of the turf in both facilities.” Upon the completion of the project at Notre Dame, PDA will have a home in Central New Jersey to go along with their facilities in the North, South and along the Shore.
The genesis of the project came in a discussion that Roche had with former ND Soccer Coach, Dan Donigan, regarding his desire to add a second turf field to Notre Dame’s athletic facilities in 2019. “Dan Donigan deserves a lot of credit when it comes to the new field,” Roche stated. “It was Dan’s relationship with PDA that got the process off the ground.
Notre Dame President Ken Jennings would like to acknowledge all of the support he received from the ND Board of Governors, the ND leadership team, the Diocese of Trenton and the leadership team at PDA who all worked tirelessly to make this happen.
The hope is to have the field completed for the fall soccer season. This is an exciting time as both Notre Dame Athletics and PDA enhance their current programs and look to the future with great anticipation.
Located on 100 beautiful acres in Central New Jersey, Notre Dame High School, founded in 1957, is a college preparatory school for grades 9 - 12, preparing young men and women for lives of purpose, built upon a foundation of Catholic faith, with a commitment to academics, co-curricular activities and service to others.