The Clover High School Athletic Department is in the midst of finalizing a second artificial-turf installation project, with Memorial Stadium to replace natural grass at the end of the 2014 football season.
The newly-turfed CHS practice field inside the track was showcased during the Aug. 1 Midnight Madness practice session; the field was completed the day before.
CHS Athletic Director Carroll Hester said installation of artificial turf at the practice field across the road from the high school tennis courts is nearing completion.
That’s two down and one to go.
“The installation of new turf at Memorial Stadium is scheduled to begin after the final home football game is played this season,” Hester said.
Hester said the new fields will be multipurpose playing surfaces. “The lacrosse teams will compete using the new turf inside the track in the spring,” he said.
The second practice field, where finishing touches are being applied, is where soccer teams will play home games in spring. “This field will eventually become part of the ninth-grade campus,” said Hester.
Hester said the new turf was completed at the CHS practice field last Thursday, the night before Midnight Madness, and that field had already proved that the change was worth it.
“We had a downpour Thursday night and steady rain the night of Midnight Madness, and the field was playable,” said Hester. “Playing on the old field with so much rainfall would’ve torn the field up.”
Head football coach Chad Smith agreed: “The new turf is fantastic,” he said. “Artificial turf is better than well-groomed natural grass. It won’t tear up and requires no upkeep.”
“I like the new turf, but it’s a different surface compared to natural grass,” said senior left guard Charles McClure.
“It takes time to make the adjustments,” he said. “The artificial turf has more grip than the grass surface.
“I think it will be fine after a period of transition.”
Junior Blue Eagles quarterback Noah Lindsay said he likes what the artificial turf brings to the game.
“It has more grip and allows better movement,” said Lindsay. “I’ve adjusted to the new turf.”
Lindsay said he is convinced running backs and wide receivers run faster on the artificial turf.
“I like all of it,” Lindsay said of plans to install the new turf at Memorial Stadium for next season, likely making Clover the only high school in the Carolinas with three artificial fields.
If Clover becomes the only high school with three artificial-turf playing surfaces, Hester said, he would be fine with that. “We would take pride in being the only school with three turfed fields,” he said.