By Michael Otero and Brian Cano
Sports Editor, Contributing Writer
In the heat of summer while most students were off campus, the athletics department rolled in a brand new turf field directly next to the Pratt Recreation Center. The field was installed in June and is ready for all fall sport practices and games.
“We are really excited to have a new facility for everyone on campus,” said Lloyd Donald Robner, assistant athletic director. Robner added that the new field will benefit the football, field hockey and lacrosse teams, among others.
“The average life of turf is anywhere from 8-10 years and it needed to be replaced,” said Bryan Collins, director of athletics. The turf being replaced was ten years old.
“The old [turf] didn’t really work since I had a knee injury. Things like my hip, and quad as well have caused me to step off the field for a while,” said Jason Lampkin, men’s soccer forward. When asked if the new turf can cut down or limit the risk of injury, Collins said, “There is no evidence of injuries occurring on turf.”
One thing that is vastly different from this playing surface as opposed to the previous one, is the installation of a shock pad underneath the turf. According to Collins, the pad provides a surface that may assist concussion prevention. In addition to the possibility of preventing head injuries, the shock pad also increases the playability and safety of the turf and will keep it at a top level for a longer period of time.
Junior attacker of the women’s lacrosse team Connor Bird applauded the job the athletic department did with the installation, saying, “It took less than a month to construct.” She agreed with Lampkin about the old field, however, noting that it was overused and had “patches that caused harm to players and still had the C.W. Post sign on it.”
Bird’s teammate, junior defender Cara Douglas, added that the colors are different and “underneath the field has impact cushions for our shins.”
Collins would not specify the exact cost of the process of removing the old turf and replacing it with the new one, but he did add that replacing turf field is much less expensive than installing new turf due to the fact that drainage is already in place.
The 2016 fall sports teams will be the firsts to experience the new turf field. The football team, led by Collins, will get to christen the new field on Saturday, Sept. 10, when they host the University of New Haven at 1 p.m.