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Fairfield Prep blesses and re-dedicates the newly renovated Grauert Field

Fairfield Prep rugby athletes, coaches, administrators and parents gathered for a re-dedication and blessing of the newly renovated Grauert Field during a ceremony on March 24. 

The ceremony took place on the second day of the Northeast Jesuit Rugby Tournament, an annual event hosted by Prep welcoming a number of Jesuit schools from the surrounding area. President Christian Cashman provided opening remarks and the Rev. Ron Perry S.J. offered the blessing of the field and of the rugby players. Matthew Samuelson '24 assisted by reading a passage from the Gospel.

View President Christian Cashman's full remarks below.

Good morning to Prep Rugby Family and our Jesuit Northeast Rugby Extended Family in our eighth year! It is an honor and a privilege on this most sacred of days in our Catholic Jesuit tradition to join you in blessing of this sacred ground, Grauert Field, where generations of Prep men have competed and built unbreakable bonds of Jesuit brotherhood.

This Rugby pitch is indeed sacred ground, In 1969 Fairfield University and Prep honored the late Lt. Hans T. Grauert – U.S. Navy Pilot, and brother of Chris ’68 also a Fairfield U. rugger — by dedicating this beautiful rugby pitch. Of note is that Hans was a ’59 grad of McQuaid Jesuit, and so for 55 years, Fairfield U., Friends of Fairfield Rugby, and Fairfield Prep have enjoyed a storied history here on “God’s little acre” as Mrs. Grauert used to call it.

Home to Fairfield U. Rugby for 55 years, it has also been 40 years the home of Prep Rugby. In 2022, we honored our own Prep legend, Frank Decker and his 38-year Prep Rugby legacy. We're so glad Frank could be here today and we all joyfully embraced Coach Kevin Kery ’00 as second Head Coach In Prep history, with his staff, many of whom played for Frank, including Coach Kery himself. 

For years, even prior to the pandemic, Fairfield Prep and Fairfield University had the hope and vision that we could one day enhance this beloved pitch for the strength and multiple needs of Prep Rubgy and Athletics. Therefore, Fairfield Prep was honored and thrilled to be the primary investor in the $1.3 million renovation and addition of turf, official rugby goals, and regulation lines. 

We are deeply grateful to Dr. Mark Nemec and Fairfield University, and to Prep Alum, Director of Rugby Operations Austin Ryan ‘06, VP of Facilities David Frasinelli, AVP Katie Hurley, our dedicated Prep Athletic Director Tom Curran ‘05, and Tim Dee, Fairfield Prep principal, for shepherding this great project to completion this past August. 

While we celebrate and give thanks for the generosity of so many who helped make this field a best in class venue, for pre-collegiate and college Rugby in Connecticut, I am most mindful today of our athletes — the young men of Prep Rugby who stand behind me here today, representing generations of Prep ruggers and a Brotherhood that transcends any one team or any one year. 

We stand today in a long line of giants from the Grauerts of early days, to four decades of young men, and their coaches who gave of themselves to a purpose much greater than individual success, or glory, they have played and competed for team, for the gentlemen’s game, and for Brotherhood!

So with a heart full of gratitude, I give thanks today to all who made this “Rugby Field of Dreams” come true. And on this Palm Sunday, 2024, we Give thanks to our Lord, Christ the King, who inspires us to do all great things, never for our selves, but Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God, and for a world in need of our generosity.  

God bless our Fairfield Prep Rugby legacy, and all who will compete on Lt. Hans H. Grauert Memorial Field for decades to come.  

Hail Fairfield!

View photos from the event below.

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