New field yields new opportunities


Eliza Gonzalez

Senior Bella Salazar crosses the ball during an early season game at Kingwood Park.

Gabby Norman, Staff Writer

When turf fields were created in 1965, it sparked a debate that still lives on today: Stay natural with a grass field, or have turf installed? Humble ISD took a clear side on this dispute when it had a brand new turf field installed in every school in the district.“It was good because it puts us on a level playing field as far as competition,” girls soccer coach Jess White said. “There are a lot of schools that when there’s bad weather, those teams can just walk out and still practice, whereas we had to jockey for positions to still prepare our athletes for competition, and a turf field is going to help solve a lot of those issues.”

Coaches and athletes are excited for the new opportunities that this field will afford.

“It’s definitely nice,” junior soccer player Carlos Gallegos said. “It’s nice to look at, cool to the eye. Because the turf is perfectly flat, it’s easier to play on; but when it rains, it’s a bit slippery. Other than that, the turf is nice. I like it.”

The impact of the new field on practices and games has been huge. Before, games would be rained out and the field would be muddy for days, preventing the teams from playing.

“We always have a field to play on, we have somewhere to go,” boys coach Ryan Searle said. “As a soccer coach, I prefer turf over grass because we are guaranteed the games, we get the games in, and the field is always in good condition.”

Another benefit of this new field is that the soccer teams no longer have to play at Turner Stadium.

“Before, we had to fight high schools for Turner, for the times,” Searle said. “Now that we have this field, they know we will be playing on this field at this time.”

The girls and boys varsity soccer teams have started strong, what with both the men’s and women’s teams being undefeated in district. Both have hopes of going to the state championships. For now, however, they have to maintain a “one game at a time” philosophy.

“We’re deeper, the roster is more competitive, and we’re faster than last year,” White said. “Making it to the state semifinals was a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to all their hard work last year, and we would love to repeat that, but right now we have to look at what’s ahead of us.”

Throughout the season, the teams can get worn down and lose focus due to the abundance of games and practices. The coaches and athletes alike know that keeping a goal in mind and working as a team is the only way to get through it.

“We’re more composed, have more confidence, and are working really well together, better than in the past,” Searle said. “Our ultimate goal is State, but we always take it game by game. [The hardest part is] just the grind of the season. We’ve got a lot of games this year, and we’ve got to keep our focus. As long as we keep our focus and we put forth effort and work as a team, as a unit, everything will be fine.”