JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin High senior Isaiah Davis was in elementary school the last time Junge Field had brand new turf.
“I think, right now, everybody is coming out a little more juiced today. I don’t know why, just the first time on the field that we are going to play on at home, so I feel like it will be good today,” Davis remarked.
The upgrade comes after the old turf failed to pass safety tests.
While the green parts of the old turf still tested relatively well, the white parts were riddled with issues.
Joplin football head coach Curtis Jasper says, “The white portions of the old field were terrible, and deemed unsafe, and therefore the decision was made to get new turf.”
Safety was a top priority with the nearly $700,000 upgrade, so school officials extensively researched how the hardness of the turf related to concussions.
“As a school district and as a football team, our decisions are always made [based on] what’s best for the student. This was obviously something that needed to be done and it’s good to know with the support of the administration, they got it done,” Jasper adds.
And the turf isn’t just safer; it’s a nice morale boost for the team.
Blake Tash, senior quarterback says, “I think it’ll be cool for the fans to come out too and see this new turf on the field, because it’s definitely different, you can definitely notice a difference when you come out here so I think it’ll be cool for them.”
The Eagles will put their new turf to the test in their home opener against Willard on August 30.