By Hadli Joyce, Managing Editor of Sports
In the Spring of 2022, the Payton girls soccer teams were finally, after many negotiations, able to use the Moody Bible Field. Payton was even able to use the field in a non-conference game versus rival Northside, resulting in a victory for the Payton varsity team. However, the return to moody field wasn’t as easily receptive for the Payton boys soccer teams.
With practices beginning in August, Payton soccer teams had to resort to finding practice spaces as Moody Field was unavailable. The boys Varsity team would commonly practice at the poorly conditioned grass of Seward Park. While the boys Varsity team was practicing on uneven surfaces and glass, Moody bible field was occupied with many teams… beside Payton.
In late August, Payton students could see dozens of soccer players using the Moody Field. These players belonged to the Moody Bible men’s soccer team. Though Moody Bible has released ownership of the field to another owner, college soccer players continued to benefit from the field with practices during the same time as enrichment (the time when sports practices begin). Following the use of Moody Field for the college soccer team, the field was used by the Latin School of Chicago. The Latin School of Chicago is a private school that has access to two other soccer fields, (two more than Payton). With access to North Avenue turf field and the Lincoln Park turf field, the private school expanded its athletic reach with soccer practices and a game right outside of the Payton building. The Latin JV boys soccer team faced off against Timothy Christian high school in a home game on Moody Field at the same time that Payton sports could be utilizing this space.
Though it has been a complicated path, the Payton Boys Soccer team finally was able to use the Moody Field, for the first time in years. Moody Bible field practices began in early September during enrichment. Though Payton has been able to use the field, it is not an every day availability like other schools. “Pretty much every school, especially the selective enrollment ones and every suburban school, has a turf field with goalposts. We practice on an empty grass lot owned by the Chicago housing authority. It’s a real shame that we have a nice grass field with goalposts right next door, but it gets used by a …DII school and Latin’s JV team. I propose the school build a field on the roof.” (Nate Von der Sitt ‘23)
Though the ultimate future of using Moody Bible field is unsure, Payton soccer teams will take advantage of the opportunity while they can. Support the boys soccer team this season as they look to defend their city and state titles from last year.