New Field Should Make Hornets Faster

Dover, DE – Al Lavan need not look far for offensive inspiration for his football team. There is $735,000 worth of inspiration being installed at Alumni Stadium. In January, the Delaware State University board of trustees approved installation of a synthetic grass field at Alumni Stadium. Construction is scheduled to be completed before the team’s April 29 spring football game. Lavan, an offensive-minded coach for more than 30 years who brought the West Coast offense to DSU in 2004, has yearned for the faster artificial turf. “From day one, when we got a chance to look at our personnel, it was a confirmation to me we needed to direct our attention to putting more speed on the field,” Lavan said. The Hornets (7-4, 6-2 MEAC last season) begin spring drills today on the grass fields next to Alumni Stadium. Lavan’s desire to get faster won’t stop with new turf. “We were much faster on defense last season,” Lavan said of his team’s No. 5 ranking in Division I-AA total defense. “We didn’t make that stride on offense. We’re still moving toward speed and explosiveness there.” The new field also is designed to hold up better. Last season, MEAC rivals Hampton and Bethune-Cookman complained about poor field conditions in DSU wins at Alumni Stadium. “I’m not sure it will give us an advantage in games,” offensive coordinator Eric Day said. “Where it will help is in practice. Even in the spring, when it rains, there were times we almost couldn’t use our practice field.” A-Turf of Williamsville, N.Y., won the bid for installing the field at DSU, which will join Dover High and Wesley College as the third synthetic field in Dover. In addition to football games and practices, DSU’s women’s soccer team will play on the field in the fall.

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