By: Bradley Cole
Say goodbye to rain delayed football games and uneven, unsafe football fields in Henderson County.
On Wednesday morning, Henderson County’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to put aside $2.75 million dollars to install artificial turf football fields at East, West, and North Henderson. The other remaining high school, Hendersonville, will receive its turf field when its new school is built in the coming years.
The commissioners will take a look at a variety of different construction plans in the coming months. Nonetheless, the goal is to have the three fields installed with turf before the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
The news definitely gave North Henderson athletic director John McDaris mixed emotions.
“It was total disbelief,” McDaris said in reference to hearing the news. “In our minds, it was kind of a longer term possibility. Maybe next year, but when I heard it was approved, we were ecstatic. We were so excited.”
Having a turf field will open up a lot of doors for North. The school will be able to host more events throughout the year without worrying about the condition of the field. Like the other schools in the county, North hosts middle school events and youth football games on top of their regular high school events. A number of different football, soccer, and community events have been canceled or relocated due to rain or muddy conditions on the grass field in past years.
“It’s better than good news for North. That’s good news for Apple Valley, our community, our youth programs,” McDaris said.
The process to get the coveted turf fields has been a tedious one. In the past few years, the county has attended to other matters. Although, after hearing a pitch from Will Buie of WGLA Engineering about the aspects of the new field, and how the field could be used more if turf were to be applied, the decision to approve the fields was made.
The turf fields will also make athletic events safer and fix problems the grass fields caused.
“I think it’s a very safe playing surface. You think about the wear and tear, the money that’s spent on maintenance of an actual grass field. Artificial turf fixes all that.”