Battlefield turns to turf

The school’s spring construction may impede on sports


Example of a common turf field. Photo courtesy of Stratablog via Creative Commons.

Ashley Donohoe, Author

At the end of last school year, superintendent Dr. Walts created a plan for what he hopes to accomplish during 2019-2020, one goal being the installation of a turf field at Battlefield. Ever since the construction of the school in 2004, the stadium has been equipped with a grass field to hold football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and other outdoor sport activities.

On October 9, Battlefield principal Mr. Ferrera sent an email to the school detailing the turf field’s construction plans. Construction is going to occur from March until August, right as spring sports are beginning to take place. However, Mr. Ferrera explains that the construction period is not a school decision, but is rather based off of “the official expertise of the Office of Facilities.” Although this directly impedes with an entire sports season, Mr. Ferrera says the construction must take place at this time because it “gives the School Division adequate time to install the artificial turf and then completely resurface the asphalt and rubber on the track.” Track construction is temperature dependent, so they hope to ensure all resurfacing is complete before the summer heat impedes on the material cooling and therefore setting in place. 

Due to this construction, the boys and girls soccer, lacrosse, and track teams are going to feel the effects of not having a home field for an entire season. Mr. Ferrera hopes to potentially have one to two games at the beginning of the season if construction permits. Battlefield senior and four-year varsity soccer player, Carleigh Frilles, hopes this drastic change does not greatly impact the team, “It will be a real struggle at first to adjust to traveling for every game and not having the rush of playing at our home stadium.” Present for one of the three state championship wins BHS girl’s soccer has earned, Frilles hopes to pull a fourth for her senior year season. “We should use this opportunity to grow as a team and build our team chemistry and play through adversity. It will be very hard, but I believe this team can come together to fight and play like we own any field we step onto.” Many of the spring sports teams will be looking to use this season as a period of growth for their teams, hoping that the lack of a home-field advantage will result in preparing them for tougher games down the road in playoff games.

However, whenever teams look to have a growth period for their season, the senior class can feel as if they missed out on the opportunity to win a big match and gain the same experience as the upperclassmen before them. One of the major parts of a senior’s last season in a sport is their senior night, where all their other teammates work together to honor the dedication they put into the team. Yet, with only one or two home games at the beginning of the season, this senior night will not be similar to the ones in years past. “The senior nights will have to be very early in the season,” Battlefield senior and varsity lacrosse goalie, Owen Sweeney, says, “[The field construction] was a long time coming, but it was definitely not a necessity, and definitely not during a season of sports.” The inevitability of the turf field’s construction keeps seniors from speaking out against the treatment they are receiving. Although they have looked forward to this game for four years, seniors like Sweeney feel as if there is nothing they can do to fix this and gain a full senior night experience in the situation BHS has left the spring teams in. Students never felt a strong urge to have to play on a turf field, but the construction occurred nonetheless.

As the fall sports seasons come to a close, the Office of Facilities can further calculate when exactly field construction will take place. This precise schedule will allow seniors to know whether their final season playing for Battlefield will contain two home games, just one, or even none at all.