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Turf v. Grass Debate

After years of debate within the Region 16 community, a referendum vote to install a new turf field took place on Tuesday May, 2nd. This vote failed with 542 voting yes and 650 voting no.

The field and school utilities were looked at by the region previously and the Board of Education approved a $2 million budget for a new drainage system, track, and weight room. After listening to the opinions of Woodland parents, a new turf field was considered as well.

The current grass field is a hazard for all players in the NVL. Many players find themselves stepping in divots with the uneven field, which would not be an issue with flat turf. Nathan Cook, a football player, suffered a serious injury in his senior year football season.

“It was a non-contact injury where I took a step in a divot in the field and fell,” Cook said. “I tore my ACL, blew out my meniscus, and I might miss some of my college football freshman year.”

Cook is not the only football athlete that has been injured on the field. A turf field would save a lot of athletes from career-ending injuries.

Decisions as important as this one can’t be decided without a town vote to ensure all voices and opinions are taken into account.

“I’m not sure how the rest of the town will feel,” says Cook, “but it’s better for the future to have a good field. The field doesn’t even look good when you are driving by it anymore.”

Another athlete that has voiced their opinion is Daniella Celotto, one of the junior girls soccer captains. A turf field would be utilized by both of the soccer teams as well, as the feasibility study done by the Board of Education came back with positive results.

“Most of our other competitors use a turf field,” Celotto said.

On the other hand, other individuals have argued that maintaining the current field would be the better option.

“Even having a well-maintained grass field would be nice because that is what most next level colleges play on: grass,” Celotto said.

A well-maintained grass field would be difficult to accomplish, as it would cost a lot of time and money. With a turf field, premier and club teams could rent it, bringing in a profit to our district. Soccer teams like CT Rush rent out Naugatuck’s turf field in the spring season, which is around the same size as Woodland’s field.

Maintaining the grass field has proven to be difficult in the past, so many people in the community believe it is time for a change.