Sometimes all a team needs is a new toy to play with to get the ball moving again. That is the case for Holyoke High school football, who took snaps on their newly unveiled Roberts Field tonight, replacing the worn out and well used 15-year-old turf.
"We wanted to get this done, make it safe, make it more playable and have a longer turf lifetime." said Melanie Martin, Athletic Director for Holyoke Public Schools.
The three-month project was completed in September, but the Purple Knights officially showed their fresh colors tonight against the Golden Eagles of Springfield Central. The project includes a new longer lasting turf, and even a brand new track that surrounds it. The new turf will offer a safer field for players and an updated look for the school.
"The city invested a lot of money to come up with this first class facility." said Joe Dutsar, Head Coach for Holyoke Football.
Dutsar is in his maiden season as the Holyoke Varsity Football Coach, and says the fresh turf will only play in the purple knights favor this season.
"The playing surface is an excellent surface, its very forgiving when you get tackled or when you do tackle someone." said Dutsar.
Football won't be the only ones breaking in these grounds. Other sports such as field hockey, track and field and soccer can call this new artificial turf their home field."
"All three levels of football play here, varsity everything plays here, field hockey, soccer, girls soccer, boys soccer, we do have JV play here on doubleheaders, and all of freshman football plays here." added Martin.
Let's not forget track and field. Coach Dutsar happens to be the head track and field coach as well, so its a win win for both sports.
"The track was in need of repair, we have had some good success with the track over the years, and hopefully with the addition and the new surface, it brings more students out." Dutsar said.
With the new field and a capacity crowd expected, the Purple Knights are looking to keep their armor shining bright, and finish the second half of the season strong. They play over half of their remaining games at the new and improved Roberts field.