New Turf Field—A Gift That Will Keep On Giving
The School’s newly re-turfed McCandless Field has been “in play” for barely three weeks, but it’s already fulfilling its promise by serving multiple sports and teams and logging lots of use despite several nights of rain.
Increasingly, at high school campuses around the country, artificial playing surfaces are proving their utility and versatility to athletes and coaches with packed schedules of interscholastic competition. Compared to grass, such surfaces are longer wearing, easier to maintain, and readier for re-use after inclement weather.
In addition, the artificial turf field “reduces wear and tear on the grass fields, allowing them to get healthy and stronger,” explains Athletic Director Travis Brantingham. And looking ahead to winter, the field can be used for training on warm winter days, alleviating overcrowding in nearby Carey Fieldhouse.
The field will even benefit Principia College athletes on occasion. In fact, just before the “official” September 22 re-opening of McCandless, the field hosted the Principia College women’s soccer team—which proved to be a wonderful trial run. (Get the details of that game here.)
Then on the big day itself, Head of School Marilyn Wallace addressed the crowd, expressing gratitude for the donor-funded re-turfing project, which began in mid-summer. Several benefactors responded with speed and generosity after learning about the opportunity late last year. (Refurbished athletic facilities were identified as a priority in both the institution-wide strategic plan and the School’s master plan in 2011.)
“Seeing the outpouring of support from the donors in such a short amount of time was humbling,” says Brantingham.
In her remarks, Wallace acknowledged the recent passing of beloved Upper School Coach Brian Morse, and shared a tradition that he started with the players. Morse would ask, “Men, what is football at Principia?” The players would respond, “Sir, football at Principia is 48 minutes of hitting, blocking, tackling, and guts. It’s football played to win, and winners we are! We love it! We love it! We love it! Yeah!”
On that day, the Panthers certainly showed their love for the game, playing 48 minutes of tough football, for a convincing 41-0 victory over Missouri Military Academy. (See the full story here.) The Middle School football team and JV and C teams have also played games on the field, as has varsity boys’ soccer.
What a gift to Principia athletes!