Let’s turf Langley

Turf football

Na He Jeon

Turf fields would theoretically allow players to practice more consistently and eliminate a fear of tearing up precious grass.

Shams Haidari and Julie Swann, Executive Editor and Reporter
October 20, 2011
Filed under Sports

Langley football started off its season with a muddy surprise. The Sept. 10 game, the second of the season against Thomas Jefferson was moved to West Springfield High School’s turf fields because of the rain and flooding that left Langley’s Bermuda grass fields useless.

The Langley Boosters are hoping to put an end to cancelled games and rescheduled practices, entering the year with a push for the installation of turf fields.

Junior Phil Novacki, a varsity football player, commented on the plans for installing turf, saying that they “would prevent practices from being cancelled,” ultimately helping Langley football unite as a team.

Samantha Sterling, a varsity field hockey and soccer player agrees, noting that the “worst thing is being pumped up for a game and having it be cancelled.”

The Langley Boosters are hoping to raise between $850,000 and $1 million to cover the costs of a new field, scoreboard, goal posts, and well as installation, according to Mr. Geoff Noto, Director of Student Activities.

The Boosters are working accordingly. They have organized a Barn Bash for Oct. 22 and are collecting donations online.

Varsity football coach Mr. John Howerton is in support of the move to turf fields, pointing out that they will reduce injuries, require less maintenance than turf fields, and reduce the number of cancelled practices and games sports teams have to organize around. Ultimately, for Coach Howerton, if it comes down to the change to turf or the school renovation, he said, “I’d rather the turf fields than the school.”

The issue of converting from Bermuda grass fields to turf fields is not new to Langley. According to Mr. Noto, Langley has attempted to install turf fields before. “In the past Langley has met with community groups such as McLean Youth Soccer to discuss sharing in the costs but at this time our goal is to fund it completely through the Langley Athletic Boosters and our turf committee, to ensure maximum amount of time on the field for our students.”

Despite Langley’s longtime interest in installing turf, some Langley athletes have reservations about switching from Bermuda grass. Varsity soccer player Courtney Cuppernull said that she prefers Bermuda grass to turf because “the ball doesn’t run as much,” and “sliding on the grass is a lot more comfortable,” on Bermuda grass.

Ideally, the Langley Boosters hope to reach their fundraising goals in late winter or early spring, in order to leave time for the school to acquire necessary permits and install the fields.

For more information about the effort to turf Langley, visit www.langleyturf.org.

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