New turf field improves morale of school teams

This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 1, 2019).

Oviedo High School’s athletic department invested in a new turf to replace the well-used one on John Courier Field. Located at the front of the school, many teams and organizations utilize the field for practices, performances, and games.

The turf that OHS had last year was riddled with gaping holes and exposed rubber, posing a threat to our school athletes.

Varsity Soccer Coach Scott Waisanen said “The other was old and worn out with very bad holes and spots in the turf. It was a necessity to be able to play athletic events at home this year.”

Both coaches and athletes had issues with the old field and it disrupting their focus on the game.

Senior Alex Kardimelas, a player on the Varsity football team at OHS said, “I think it’s refreshing and comforting feeling because the old turf was so worn and uneven and it just helps us feel more confident when we are playing on it because you don’t have to worry about an injury that could occur from the bad field like a twisted ankle or knee.”

To fix that problem, the administration and athletic departments chose to replace the old turf with the company, Astroturf.

Not only do sports teams use the field such as football, soccer, and lacrosse, other school teams such as marching band and color guard clock in significant time on the field.

OHS Marching Band Director, Zachary Chowning said, “We use it for about 6 hours a week. We rehearse on Mondays and Wednesdays. Every now and then we do some Fridays or Saturdays. No more than 6 – 8 hours a week.”

Student-athletes can feel a significant difference between the old turf and the new turf.

Kardimelas said, “There is definitely a difference, the old turf was patchy and uneven in a lot of places and was very uncomfortable to play on but now everything is almost brand new and you can feel how soft the ground is and now when you make tackles or get tackled on the field, it doesn’t feel like you are falling on concrete, it almost feels like falling on a bed, to be honest.”

As the new turf was put down, it heightened the sense of pride our teams have for our school.

Athletic Director Jennifer Darty said, “We are lucky to be able to provide our students & community with such an incredible surface on our campus.”

Looking forward, athletes can maintain the pristine condition of our new field for future athletes by not eating food or leaving trash on the turf.

“Having a nice facility brings pride in your sport and elevates your effort to represent your school with the best effort possible,” said Coach Waisanen.

This new turf is a great show of support from our administration to our student-athletes, pushing OHS students to be better than the rest.

“I think it gives a sense of pride for sure. It really shows that people care about the athletics of Oviedo, not just specifically football but for all the sports and organizations that use the field like Pop Warner and Central Florida Youth Football and Cheer.” said Kardimelas, “It’s really a good feeling to know that people want to help give you the tools in order for you to succeed no matter what sport you play.”