Longhorn Lacrosse Legacy

Sam Chambers
University of Texas' Clark Field takes on a new look and legacy of Texas sized proportions.  Clayton Crum '09 follows suit with WCLA pre-season player of the year award.

On November 18th a Texas-sized change in the culture of college sports occurred across Waller Creek just a Hail Mary away from Darrel K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium at the University of Texas at Austin.  
 
With the blessing of President Bill Powers, Student Government President Natalie Butler, Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, Scott Caven, Jr., and Director of Recreational Sports Thomas Dison, Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field officially opened for play.  Hidden from the urban and university sprawl by a span of trees and open green space, Clark Field has a new look that is turning heads in the lacrosse world. Built in 1887, the original Clark Field located on 24th St. at Speedway, was a temporary home for the UT football, track and baseball teams.  On Thanksgiving Day in 1916, 15,000 fans showed up to not only watch Texas defeat A&M in football, but also to witness the arrival of Bevo #1.  In the early 1980’s the Recreational Sports department started managing the facility full time, and in 2001 the field moved to its present location.  Now after six years of effort on the part of Scott Caven, Jr., the Gary Crum family, and others, Clark Field is a first class lacrosse complex.
 
Hundreds of fans and friends gathered for this historic moment in Texas lacrosse.  A state of the art facility, the Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field is the only dedicated collegiate lacrosse facility of its kind in Texas.  The nearest venue of similar stature is located at the University of Denver, where Division 1 NCAA lacrosse is played.  The 2.3 acres of synthetic turf, surrounding track, field lighting, wireless scoreboard system, locker room pavilion, and portable seating for up to 760 fans don’t compare to the massive DKR Texas Memorial Stadium next door, but the 100’ bowstring truss bridge spanning Waller Creek got Bevo #14 over to take a look.
 
“Out of a loss, there is a gain,” said Scott Caven, Jr.
 
The Cavens began the journey towards the realization of this field of dreams when their beloved son Scotty Caven ’04 passed away in a tragic accident with his friend and classmate Nick Finnegan ’04 just prior to attending University of Texas in 2004.  Scott Caven, Jr. embarked on a six-year mission to forge the legacy of his son Scotty through the sport that he dearly loved.  After the dedication of Scotty Caven Field at Scottland Yard at St. John’s in 2005, SJS field 4 became Finnegan Field in honor of Nick.
 
Former Mavericks who currently play for the University of Texas Men's and Women's Lacrosse club teams hope that one day the NCAA will sanction lacrosse games on Clark Field like they do for football at DKR. 
 
“This is just one of the most incredible experiences,” said Clayton Crum ’08.  “Walking out to practice on the field last night was sort of like a dream.  I was on a committee to help plan this and now it is nice to see it come to fruition and generate the possibility of UT becoming a D1 lacrosse progam.  A returning first team All-American and the Texas Women's Lacrosse League Player of the Year last season, Clayton also won the 2012 WCLA pre-season player of the year award.
 
“This means a great deal to play lacrosse on campus,” said Kaitlin Bahr ’09.  “I am honored to be playing on a field with the Caven name.” 
 
“I am very honored to be a part of this event,” said Patrick Wilkey '09.  “I want to thank the Caven Family for their time and effort.  This is great for the University, lacrosse, and the program moving forward.”
 
Among those in attendance from the St. John’s family were Jennie V. Caven ’07, Jonathan Bahr ’03, faculty member Marci Bahr, Nell Swanson ’07, John Wallace ’79, John Wallace, Jr ’08, Susan Finnegan ’77, and Scotty Finnegan ’12
 
This writer, Sam Chambers ’77, was Scotty Caven’s high school lacrosse coach and was also honored to be present.  The Maverick lacrosse team gives out the Caven Lacrosse Award each year to honor what Scotty stood for.  I will always remember how Scotty did not complain about being on the JV his sophomore year.  He was one of 12 guys on that team, and he worked his way to a starting role on varsity 2 years later.  Like his dad, he realized that important things in life do not happen overnight, and with persistence, dreams can come true.
 
When The Longhorn Band blasted “The Eyes of Texas” and Bevo #14 nodded approvingly at the artificial turf painted with lacrosse lines, everyone present understood that the Caven family's impact on Texas lacrosse will be remembered ‘til Gabriel blows his horn.

Sam Chambers- Athletic News
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