On Friday September 9th, Souhegan unveiled the Calvetti Family field, a brand new turf field for the school’s stadium. The small ceremony was followed by a win from both boy’s varsity soccer, and football. This will be a historic year for Souhegan athletics, a game changer to all sports involved. Now let’s see how the athletes truly feel about the field.
The turf will be used for most varsity teams’ home games, and has many benefits. “The turf is nice because it is flat and can take a lot of use,” says Mitch Greany, Souhegan senior playing for varsity soccer, “It does help the team though, because not all teams are used to turf.” Although the turf is a novelty, SHS athletes must also perform on natural grass to prepare for away games.
On Monday, the field hockey team had their turn on the field. Calm and collected, the team used their skills and beat ConVal 3-0. Senior captain and starting goalie, Maddie Maurais says, “I’m extremely excited to play on it. Especially since when you play on turf as a field hockey player it’s a totally different game.” Maurais still has some worries about the field though. “The turf makes the game extremely fast pace which can either help or hurt a team… I think overall the turf is a positive thing.”
Football games are a huge source of community within the school and town. It’s a place for everyone to come together and celebrate Souhegan. Many people came out on the 9th to not only see the home opening football game, but also the grand reveal of the field they were playing on. Meaghan Allard, Senior at Souhegan, says, “The football game the other night felt like half the town was there cheering on the Sabers,” she continues “It really brought the community together.”
However, not everyone is on board with the new turf field. Dave Saxe, health teacher and boy’s varsity soccer coach at Souhegan, is very passionate about the subject. “ I am concerned about injury,” Saxe says. “I spent a lot of time reading the newest research out there… and I feel that it’s pretty clear.”
Saxe has had five of his athletes experience ACL reconstructive surgery. “The injuries on turf, especially on the lower body… are increased. That is a big concern for me. It is my number one responsibility to keep these athletes safe.” Saxe believes the donated money could have gone to improving the natural fields Souhegan already has. “I’m not going to say that every grass surface is perfectly safe, because we know that that’s not true, but I also think the research would say it’s a higher risk on turf.”
With all of this in mind, Souhegan athletes and coaches should be aware of the dangers turf fields present. Being informed can save athletes from serious injuries.