Carly Budd/Collegian photographer Nichole Resa, freshman midfielder, and Kaylee Jackson, freshman defender, practice on the grass field.

By Alejandra Rojas
Staff reporter

The 125th year anniversary of Southwestern College brings a festive mood to the campus. One thing to celebrate is the opening of the new Richard L. Jantz, turf stadium, which did away from the grassy surface.

What exactly is the difference between playing on turf versus the green pasture?

Adjusting to speed of play and considering the smooth field, with no holes and bumps, are only a couple key components the teams will have to endure in order to have a successful season.

Weston Mills, chemistry junior, plays defensive linemen on the football team. He said everyone is excited and that anyone you ask will prefer playing on turf.

“I definitely prefer playing on turf because it’s not as hard on your body when you go in on a tackle and hit the ground. It also isn’t as bad on the ankles,” he said.

The turf may give a home field advantage to the Moundbuilders this season because as few as four conference teams still have natural grass fields and will have to adjust to playing at a higher speed.

“Panhandle still has grass,” said Mills. “We might have an advantage, at least for the first game.”

Jason Bond, history senior, plays defense on the soccer team. He said he has been playing on turf fields since high school and also prefers turf.

“I like the turf, no question about it,” he said. “It’s a lot better, the ball moves faster and it makes for a faster paced game.”

Bond also said he likes the turf because it gets rid of the holes and any injury a hidden bump in the grass might have caused.

While those might be the advantages to the new playing ground, new injuries accompany.

Amanda Beadle, head athletic trainer, said one of the injuries, which has increased is, turf burn.

“This is kind of like the grass stain, but if turf burn isn’t taken care of it can cause an infection,” she said.

Beadle said if the turf burn isn’t cleaned properly, the black pellets within the turf, may stick to the skin causing the wound not to heal fully. This is where the infection happens.

Something else Beadle said has became more common is dead leg.

“Since the turf is still new, it’s still pretty soft. So for a player, it might feel they are running in sand,” Beadle said.

One of the challenges the teams will also face while playing on the turf is the heat.

“The turf can be about 20 degrees hotter, so there will be a heat problem,” she said.

Mills said the only concern the football team has faced is the heat.

Overall, Beadle said, some of the more common injuries shouldn’t happen anymore, such as concussions from hitting the ground and cleats getting stuck in the mud during raining days, causing sprained ankles.

Alejandra Rojas is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at alejandra.rojas@sckans.edu.