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Wheeling Jesuit announces new gift for field project

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Wheeling Jesuit's Cardinal Athletic Club passed a formal resolution to donate $250,000 towards the university's Community Turf Field Project.

The resolution stipulated that WJU name the main field in honor of the late Bernard Schmitt, seventh bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

The CAC, a group that supports WJU athletic programs, recently announced its intentions to help fund the university's Community Athletic Fields Project -- a three-phase plan to upgrade WJU's outdoor athletic facilities.

"The Cardinal Athletic Club was created to support WJU Athletics and we are excited to be a part of this project," said CAC President John Reasbeck. "We also are pleased to support the naming of the field in memory of Bishop Schmitt, a great friend to Wheeling Jesuit and a great shepherd to the people of West Virginia."

Bob Schmitt, Bishop Schmitt's brother, and others are working closely with the university and the CAC to raise an additional $250,000 toward the project.

Under the leadership of President Rick Beyer and Executive Vice President, Rev. Jim Fleming, S.J., the university recently announced a $2.2 million fundraising effort to complete the first two phases of field renovation.

The upgrades would include turfing the main field and upper field, resurfacing the running track, upgrading the lighting, renovating current locker rooms, building new locker rooms, installing new scoreboards, and adding seating for each field.

Additionally, WJU and Wheeling Central Catholic High School have partnered on the plan in order to provide Central Catholic Football with a new home field for its games.

"We are grateful to the Cardinal Athletic Club for its support. This project is a win-win-win for Wheeling Jesuit, Wheeling Central Catholic and the entire Wheeling community," said Fleming. "Once complete, Wheeling Jesuit can host track, soccer and football events, not to mention provide WJU and Central Catholic a new home field advantage."

The project will benefit not only Wheeling Jesuit University but also the community, according to WJU Athletic Director Danny Sancomb.

"The project will provide an opportunity for WJU and the community to compete at state-of-the-art facilities," Sancomb said. "We are excited to have Wheeling Central Catholic play some of their home football games here. We hope that Catholic grade schools, Wheeling Area Soccer Association and others will be able to utilize our facilities."

Those interested in making a contribution to the Community Athletic Fields Project in the name of former Bishop Schmitt can contact Sancomb at (304) 243-2366 for more information.