Story by Jalin Ernest
Jeff has strived to produce many great improvements around the school these past two years, such as the new Radio/TV station, new basketball court and bleachers, and getting the approval for a new auditorium.
These improvements have made JHS students and visitors interested to see what everything looks like, which should help bring out more people to the games. The additions draw more attention to Jeff High as a whole, including the basketball program.
But despite living in a basketball hotbed, Jeff High has more than one sport that could bring in a lot of fans, not to mention money, for the athletic department.
Something I think that would help build Jeff High’s overall fan base is turf fields for the football, soccer and baseball teams. (I’d say softball, too, but most of the infield is all dirt.)
The turf product would give a new look to the fields, and maybe even be the first of many to come in the future if other schools in our area, or around the state, like the idea.
“Turf has better traction and would keep our jerseys cleaner,” senior football player Ian Francisco said. “I think it would look really good, and we all want it. Some of the schools we play have them and I love playing on it.”
So why turf?
According to FieldTurf.com, the world leader in artificial turf, the total cost of a having an artificial field put in would be around $750,000. For that price, the field would last between eight and 10 years, or roughly $75,000 every year.
Yes, this is a lot of money. However in the long run, the price tag would be worth it. Turf fields are easier to take care of and the grounds crew would rarely, if ever, cut the actual turf.
“I think it would be a great idea,” junior baseball player Gabe Bierman said. “I’ve played on many turf baseball fields across the country, so I’m very used to it. Plus it’s nice.”
Many would say that they do not need turf because of the cost, or because it could interfere with the season. In my opinion, it would look so much better, especially during our unpredictable weather patterns.
With the new East End Bridge set to open in December, students from high schools in Kentucky may decide to explore high schools in southern Indiana. If we got turf for our football, soccer, and baseball teams, we could also potentially attract more student athletes because of our facilities.
After all, the better our facilities are, the more highly people will think of Jeff High as a whole when it comes to athletics.
If other local schools can support turf fields, such as New Albany and Seymour, who says we can’t? And these schools are our rivals — we can’t fall behind any more.