11.20.14: Student athletes compete on renovated track and field
11.20.14: Student athletes compete on renovated track and field
Posted on 11/20/2014

Students, coaches, and the community celebrated last month as the inaugural soccer and junior varsity football games were played on the newly renovated Rogers High School track and field.

 

The first games on the new turf took place on October 2 in a match-up between Rogers and Puyallup high school girls soccer teams. Junior varsity soccer players took to the field first, followed by the varsity teams for a night game under the lights.

 

As referees led varsity teams onto the field for player introductions, game announcers made special note over the intercom of the historic event taking place on the new turf.

 

Then, as darkness fell, all eyes were focused on the athletes as they moved the ball up and down the field before a crowd of nearly 200 cheering family members, students, and community members.

 

“I spoke with a number of the adults and fans that night who were grateful for the wonderful facility upgrade and for what it means to Rogers High School athletes and programs,” said Rick Wells, director of athletics, health, and fitness. “This field is a great addition to our district and community.”

 

Rogers High senior Lauren Swinney, a defender on the varsity soccer team, praised the quality of the artificial turf field and said she appreciates being able to practice and play games at her home school.

 

“It definitely adds to school spirit,” she said. “It’s also awesome being able to drive down the street next to it and see it all lit up.”

 

Several days later, the Rogers High junior varsity football team had its moment in the spotlight, playing its first home game on the field against Emerald Ridge High School.

 

The track and field is used by Rogers High School students for P.E. classes, as well as for junior varsity and varsity girls soccer practices and games, junior varsity football practices and games, varsity football practices, cross-country, and track.

 

All high school varsity football games continue to be played at Sparks Stadium.

 

When open and not in use by district schools, the track and field will be available for use by the community. The field has markings suitable for football, soccer, and lacrosse.

 

Final work on the project, including construction of a press box and storage building, is expected this winter, said project manager Mike Meadows.

 

A new bleacher section on the south side of the field is also expected to be inspected and approved by Pierce County officials for opening this winter.

 

Meanwhile, students have been taking advantage of the many other improvements completed over the summer, including an all-weather synthetic artificial turf field, field lighting, long-jump and triple-jump runways, a shot put throwing pad and landing areas, new walkways and fencing, and a newly resurfaced and restriped track.

 

One of the most noticeable improvements, Wells said, is the artificial turf field. The new surface replaces a grass field that had divots and was prone to puddles and other standing water problems during rainy weather.

 

Rogers High athletic coordinator Peter Collins said, “The appearance and quality of the field turf is great — better than we’ve experienced from other new fields on which we’ve played. It is really nice to be able to practice on campus without having to travel to various places in the district on different days of the week.”

 

The renovated field has a subsurface drainage system that supports having it used year-round. It also features a large two-toned blue “R,” representing Rogers High and the school colors. The letter is inlaid with field turf fabric in the center of the field.

The $3 million of improvements were paid for with state-matching funds and interest income collected through the voter-approved 2004 school bond. State law requires that matching funds be used for capital (construction-related) projects.

 

The school board agreed last year to renovate the track and field to provide students and the community with quality practice and game surfaces while freeing up time at Sparks Stadium in downtown Puyallup for other school athletic uses.