Tupelo High getting blue turf, new track

A rendering of what Tupelo High School's football field would look like with blue turf. (Courtesy)

A rendering of what Tupelo High School’s new turf and track will look like. (Tupelo School District)

By Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The blue turf is coming to Tupelo High School.

The district’s school board on Tuesday approved the $1.3-million project to install blue turf on its high school football field and to resurface its track.

Hellas Construction of Austin, Texas, won the bid for the project and will begin work shortly after THS hosts a regional track meet on April 26. The project is expected to be completed in late July or early August, before the school’s first home football game against Center Hill on Aug. 22.

Tupelo received permission from Boise State University to use the blue turf. BSU holds a patent on the unique playing surface. The track will be gold, matching Tupelo High’s colors.

Football coach Trent Hammond said his players have expressed excitement about the blue playing surface because it would stand out from other fields.

“A lot of people are excited about the turf,” Hammond said. “Our players are excited about the idea of blue and about being different. It is totally different and unique, and that has created a lot of buzz.”

The district has been working to find sponsors to cover much of the cost of the turf. It has currently raised about $705,000 in commitments, which would cover about 80 percent of the cost of the turf. That estimate does not include the cost of the track but officials said the district was going to have to resurface its track regardless of whether it added the turf.

THS athletic director Andy Schoggin said a few sponsors were drawn to the project by the color.

“It is a big accomplishment to be able to do this in a short timeline,” he said. “It shows the great community support we have. It will be exciting to see the work begin.”

Other uses

Hammond said having turf will help because more groups will be able to use it. For instance, they no longer will have to cancel a middle school or junior high football game because the field is wet and needs to be preserved for the Friday varsity game. It also will be used by soccer and track, and the marching band will be able to practice there instead of on a parking lot.

“The exciting thing to me is it will benefit multiple programs across fine arts and athletics at Tupelo High School,” said Tupelo assistant superintendent Matthew Dillon. “It it exciting to see the community partner with the school district on this project.”

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com

  • JD

    This blue turf just seems to be a *horrible* idea. When the novelty wears off – and I’m pretty sure it will soon – THS is going to be left with an atrociously tacky field and looking for ways to replace it again. Bad, bad, bad idea IMO.

    • MidTennDog

      Except Boise State has had theirs for over two decades, now host a bowl game (in Idaho) because of it, and are the most successful non-major football program in the country. I would suggest to THS, though, to get ready for heavier than normal bird droppings. They may not dive to their deaths thinking it’s water, but I bet they do at least congregate more.

      • JD

        So Tupelo will be hosting WHAT national bowl game on this field every year? And how does BLUE TURF make them a magically better football team?

        I actually TURN GAMES OFF that are played on that stupid Boise field and my [uneducated] guess is that the novelty of this blue turf in Tupelo will wear off quickly.

        “Exciting” and different for maybe a full season .. After that, meh.

  • Beauregard Rippy

    EWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAY IT AIN’T SO!

  • Guest

    Will they buy it locally?

    • Thile

      If there are any local companies that install FieldTurf/Enviromax/synthetic playing surfaces and they offer to do the work at a reasonable price, then yes, they’ll buy it locally.

  • Beauregard Rippy

    Does anyone remember when football and other outdoor games were played on GRASS (or dirt)?

  • TupeloRob

    Great Idea! Kudos to the school board for not listening to the few detractors and moving ahead. It will be the buzz of MS high school sports! Awesome!

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