by Jakob Cole

The idea of a turf field at Stuart would be great. A better surface, better conditions, and more flexible practice schedule are all things that administration saw as reasons for attempting to get a turf field. The key word is attempt. As it turns out, turf fields actually cost a lot of money; a whopping $100,000. The deadline for our school to reach this amount is by Jan. 31, 2015.

The campaign started in the summer of 2013, when the Fairfax County School Board decided to assign an excess of revenue towards partially funding the construction of turf fields in the eight remaining Fairfax County high schools without turf. As of now, there are five schools still without turf fields. The goal is to have two turf fields by the summer of 2015, in order for our fall athletes to have pre-season practice time using the turf field. The plan is to have one turf field where the original game field is, and the other would be where the baseball field is.

Stuart’s attempt for raising money for a turf field may fall short; seeing as though we have only raised about $50,000, (half of what we need of the proposed $100,000 fund) according to a sign in the front office. With less than two months of time before the deadline, a major impetus is needed in the near future. While numerous efforts have been made to help raise money for this cause, the finances are not necessarily there to back it up. The booster club has certainly created opportunities for money to be raised, as seen in their efforts through the “Purchasing a Brick” project. Progress has been made, but a lot more needs to be done in two months’ time.

The advantages for obtaining a turf field are endless. Basically every sport that is played outside or inside will benefit from using a turf field. First off, the football team will be able to practice on the turf field all days, because of the turf’s ability to be durable and withstand constant pounding. In turn, this will allow the football team to stop practicing on the baseball field, allowing for proper care of the baseball field.

Also, every other outside sport will be able to practice more often and have more accessible practice times because inclement weather will not cause them to have to go inside, which will create more flexible practice schedules for inside sports. Turf fields are also a more time efficient field. Some teams, such as the lacrosse and soccer teams, have to travel to other locations every day for practice because of the condition of their field. Making the practice location closer to home will ensure a more time efficient practice.

The cost of turf fields may be a steep price, but it is a price that we should be willing to pay. The rewards far outweigh the risks. The turf field will be put to good use and will be well taken care of properly. Most every other school in the county has a turf field, so by now Stuart deserves one.

The reasons to get a turf field are obvious. It will bring about more pride in our sports, a better acknowledgement that our sports should be taken seriously, and a ultimately a better performance on the field. However, if we truly want to obtain the funds for this project, the time is now, because the clock keeps on ticking until that fast approaching deadline.