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Transitioning to turf


Limestone Community High School ended the football season and went straight to work on the installation of turf fields. The $1.4 million project cost 

The grass and dirt will be dug 13 inches deep and then filled with the turf.

Athletic Director Brian Clausen explained the difference a turf field is going to make and how beneficial the changes will be. “Turf fields are beneficial in a couple different ways. They are more cost-effective in the long run than natural fields. We don’t have to paint, water, seed, and mow,” said Clausen.  With the grass field, the maintenance was very consistent and cost more each year than turf would. Clausen said, “Our field will last about 15 years maintenance-free. After 15 years, we will replace it with new turf material.” He continued,  “This will have a huge impact on not only sports like football, soccer, track, baseball, and softball, but for our marching band as well. This field will benefit more kids than people realize. It’s not just for the football program.”

Head football coach Jeff Schmider praised the installation of turf fields and the benefits the new field will bring to the program.  Schmider explained, “During the summer when we are installing and teaching our system, especially to freshmen, we will have a lined and marked football field with lines, hash marks, and numbers to help us teach the system.”

Unpredictable weather has also impacted field usage in the past.  Schmider also said, “We won’t have to cancel underclass games due to weather because of the worry of tearing up the field before the varsity game.”  Turf will reduce sloppy performances due to bad field conditions. “Bad field conditions due to weather, won’t affect the outcome of a game. In my time as a football coach I have seen bad field conditions lead to messed up plays and bad snaps that have changed the outcome of the game,” said Schmider.

While the field will be a nice addition to Limestone, senior football co-captain Chase Harper said, “I’m upset that I won’t be able to play on the turf fields but I’m happy for my underclassmen teammates that get that privilege. 

The turf field will include markings for football and soccer as well as markings for baseball and softball to practice.  The project also includes the replacement of the goalposts and the addition of a pole vault pit.

Head soccer coach Rob Fitch is excited about the transition and thinks it will be a great benefit for the soccer team. “We will now be able to play under the lights.  This becomes important in many games when in the past our JV teams frequently had to shorten games due to loss of daylight,” said Fitch.   “In a perfect world, we would still like to make improvements to the grass soccer field like improved grading, lights, etc., so we can still utilize the grass soccer field for practices and games,” Fitch continued.

Justin Bainter, LCHS’ band director, is also looking forward to next marching season.  “The turf will help us immensely as we prep for our competitive marching season! The consistency of the level surface will help in the post-learning process as we build confidence in the drill and choreography, as well as ease the movement of our front ensemble equipment, reducing wear and tear. We also perform on turf exclusively in competition, so having that surface to perform on in practice will help our students feel comfortable going into the season,” said Bainter.

Many are very excited about the project and will not have to wait long. Clausen said, “We are being told that the field will be ready for use by March 1st of 2024.”  The project is currently running ahead of schedule and should be in use for the spring sports season.  


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