I knew well before Friday night’s football game in Lyons that Toombs County’s football stadium, “The Pit,” had been converted to artifical turf. I did not, however, realize the extent of the other improvements in the stadium.
It has been transformed into a wonderful high school football venue without sacrificing the atmosphere The Pit has had for decades. Overseeing the recent transformation was Toombs County School Superintendent Barry Waller, the former Jeff Davis Middle School principal and Jeff Davis High girls basketball coach.
In the last game of the Jeff Davis High football season, the Yellow Jackets travel to Metter which has also installed artificial turf on its field.
I read several months ago that a little over half of Georgia’s high school football teams play their home games on artificial turf these days.
It’s an expensive undertaking. But taking care of natural grass is also an expensive undertaking, not only in fertilizer costs, herbicide costs, insecticide costs, but also in time, purchasing and maintaining grass cutting machinery, aerating machinery, etc.
And before each game natural grass fields must be lined off and properly marked costing more money and time.
And games played in rain on natural turf wreak havoc with the grass and the ground that supports it, and it takes time and money to repair the damage.
I haven’t researched the cost difference in artificial and natural grass fields but I do know this. Artificial grass is becoming more and more common for high school athletics, not just football but soccer and other field sports.
Someone had to have done the research that led to the explosion of artificial turf fields.
And, obviously, that research must have been compelling.