Once used almost exclusively at the college and professional level, synthetic turf fields are slowly becoming the norm for prep athletics – especially in Texas, where high school football is immensely popular.
Already a pro-turf school, a new, high-quality AstroTurf field will be in place for The Episcopal School of Dallas football team come opening night in August.
(ABOVE: The Episcopal School of Dallas football team will open its 2018 season on a new playing surface at Gene and Jerry Jones Stadium. Photo: Rob Graham)
Looking to upgrade the school’s athletic field, officials chose RootZone 3DSF turf to surface Gene and Jerry Jones Stadium. The RootZone brand features slit-film fibers, which encourage durability, and a layer of fibers designed for player safety. The turf also has a 60-ounce face weight and “dense stitching,” according to a release from AstroTurf.
Hemp, which retains water, is also present in the makeup of the turf. This crucial aspect of the new field should help keep field temperatures down, officials said.
“The result is a much cooler field,” said Sydney Stahlbaum, director of marketing at AstroTurf. “[The hemp allows] for temperatures up to 41 degrees cooler than SBR rubber, which is most commonly used.”
The previous ESD field was also surfaced by AstroTurf.
Stahlbaum added that the new turf will be available for a plethora of sports, thanks to the durability of the product. Specifically, ESD’s football, soccer, and lacrosse teams will all be using the new field.
“This field has the latest technology on the market,” she said. “There’s much more flexibility and usage than natural grass allows.”
School officials have praised the relationship with AstroTurf, calling it “an easy decision” to go forward with the company on the new athletic field surface.
“We were delighted to partner with AstroTurf to bring superior value and innovative design to our facilities for the benefit of our student-athletes,” said Robert Buchholz, ESD’s chief financial officer.
ESD’s football team went 5-4 in 2017, with wins over Trinity Christian Academy, Houston St. John’s, Houston Christian, Casady, and St. Mark’s. The first game of the 2018 season is scheduled for Aug. 31 against Trinity Christian.