New North Cross school field nearing completion

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  50 games a year are being played at North Cross School's Thomas Field.  The soccer and field hockey teams will not have to share the field with football and lacrosse now that there is a new Richard Cook Athletic Field.

"All of our athletic programs at North Cross are extraordinarily competitive," said Chris Proctor, North Cross head of school. "Richard Cook has taught generations of students here in the Roanoke Valley. Those students who are now middle-aged are the ones that banded together and donated the money to create this field. They raised over $400,000 for this field."

Richard Cook has taught at North Cross for more than 40 years. (Courtesy: North Cross)
Richard Cook has taught at North Cross for more than 40 years. (Courtesy: North Cross)

Proctor says Cook's been saying for three years it's his last year.

"Assuming this is his last year. There's no better gift to give him on his way out," said Proctor.

After teaching hundreds of students and being credited as being the "father of soccer" in the Roanoke Valley, he is leaving behind a legacy for soccer and field hockey.

"Our field hockey program is really on the rise starting with the younger girls in middle school. Our middle school girls are really our JV team," said Eric Lawrence, North Cross Director of Athletics and Wellness.

"Part of the independent school tradition is a close relationship between athletics and academics. Going all the way back to the British little boy tradition of having sports teaching life lessons," said Proctor. "Utilize the trials and tribulations that occurred on the athletic field as ways to teach the kids how to deal with things in life."

North Cross has 80 acres so there is plenty of room to grow. They plan to eventually put in an all weather field in across the street.  The field will be used after its dedicated over homecoming weekend October 14-15 but it won't really be used heavily until the spring giving the grass time to root correctly.