The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Artificial turf implemented throughout county, not CHS

CHS is famous for its stadium, particularly its high quality Bermuda grass field. Even though it is widely regarded as one of the finest maintained fields in the county, the future of its place here at CHS is sparking debate.

Throughout Montgomery County, artificial turf is being installed as the primary playing surface at high schools. Walter Johnson and Richard Montgomery are two of the schools that boast these budget-busting landscapes.

However, CHS seems steadfast is maintaining its reputation as the primary natural grass field in the county.

“Churchill has arguably the best athletic fields in the state so we don’t need a turf field,” athletic director David Kelley said. “I am a huge fan of our stadium field and I’m thrilled that we are able to offer our student athletes such a superior playing surface.”

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Artificial turf is also extremely expensive. Combined with the MCPS budget crisis, a turf field does not seem to be in CHS’s future.

“Initial expense is considerable at approximately $1 million [per stadium],” Kelley said.
However, many still hope that a change is on the horizon.

“I would not miss anything,” senior football captain Afif Bandak said. “I really want a turf field.”

According to Kelley, if CHS were even to get a turf field it would be available daily for team practices, there would be no need to water, cut or line the field, there would be no yearly maintenance responsibilities or costs and there would be limited concern for playing games in wet conditions.

To some athletes, a turf field would advantageous.
As the kicker for the football team, Bandak has an easier time playing on an artificial turf field than a natural one.

“It’s easier to kick on a smooth surface that you don’t slip in,” Bandak said. “Natural is better for football because it is definitely softer to land on when you fall, but rain is still a factor and never having to worry about a muddy field would be nice.”

Junior Cameron Moshyedi also acknowledges the advantages of a turf field, particularly in lacrosse.

“In my opinion, turf fields are better for lacrosse because they can be played on in any weather, and they can also be practiced on without any side effects,” Moshyedi said. “It is also much easier to predict the way a ball will bounce and its smoother when picking up ground balls.”
Practicing on the field that one plays on is a strategic element that many athletes think is lacking in their game preparation.

“It would definitely be beneficial to be able to practice on [Bermuda grass] because that way, you get to practice on the same exact field you are going to play on,” Moshyedi said. “It’s very important that you get used to the surface you will be playing on.”

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Artificial turf implemented throughout county, not CHS