Turf field replaced after more than a decade

The football stadium’s turf surface was replaced after 11 years of games and tournaments. The replacement was aided by funding from Grand View Health.

Due to time and old age, the Souderton stadium had its turf surface replaced this past summer to positively impact sports teams and bring new energy to sports events.
According to Field Turf Research, A typical stadium turf is made of plastic grass-like fibers and rubber turf beads for traction against cleats.
“The first field we had when we first opened the high school here was 11 years old,” said football coach Ed Gallagher. “Now that it’s been replaced, we’re playing on a field that’s more like what schools have been playing on for the past five years.”
Gallagher has been a football coach for 30 years and a coach at Souderton for 17 years.
“Our kids get really excited to get out and play on the new turf. It’s definitely increased morale,” Gallagher said.
A turf replacement is approximately a 60 day process from start to finish, according to Field Turf Research. A typical football or soccer field turf should be replaced every 10 to 15 years to maintain the integrity of its surface.
“[The turf] needed to be replaced. They only replaced the top surface, which is easier maintenance than a grass field,” Gallagher said. “What they paid for the replacement they are saving in maintenance fees. It may seem like a big price tag right now, but it pays for itself.”
The football team has had many opportunities to play on the turf since its replacement. According to senior Dan Villalba, the new turf has been a positive change to recent football games.
“The old one was so worn out when you fell you would just get all scraped up,” Villalba said.
Villalba said the biggest difference between the old turf and the new turf is “turf burn.”
“Our old turf was in pretty bad shape compared to other schools in the area,” Villalba said.
According to Gallagher, the new turf has impacted other teams, including soccer and field hockey, which also play on the turf.
“Field hockey needs a good turf field, and so does soccer. They both need a good turf field for the ball to roll smoothly,” Gallagher said.
In addition to the football, soccer, and field hockey teams, the marching band also utilizes the new turf field when they are practicing for performance.
“The old turf was easier to march on,” said junior Bella Maldonado.
Maldonado described the new turf as “smooth but slippery.”
“I think the new turf adds color to the field,” Maldonado said. “It’s hard to march on the new turf because it’s [softer] than the old turf so it’s hard to feel the ground through the shoes we wear.”
According to Gallagher, the teams have become “well adapted” to the new turf field.
“I think it was easier for freshmen to adjust [marching on] the new turf because they never experienced the old turf, unlike upperclassmen,” Maldonado said.
The football team started the 2019 season with a win against Pottsgrove, with a score of 31-18.
“I get more hype to play on the field because it looks nice, like an actual football field,” Villalba said. “Since we have a new scoreboard and a new turf, we have more pride in our house. Our team is really close, like family.”