High school sports are getting more colorful as Inland stadiums move beyond green turf

What started as a throwaway line by varsity football coach Daniel Barlage is now seen in living color inside the football stadium at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley.

After leading his team to the state championship game in 2016, Barlage wondered what it would be like to replace the stadium’s green grass field with red artificial turf, as Eastern Washington University had done.

On Friday, Aug. 31, the finishing touches were being made to the bright red turf that the Eagles teams will play on staring with their homecoming football game Oct. 5.

“We wanted to be unique. We wanted to stand out,” Valley View Principal Karen Johnson said as a tractor rolled across the field dropping rubber beads that will help cool the turf. “It further enhances our school spirit, enhances our culture.”

Corona High also is eschewing green and has installed turf that alternates between red and black, the school’s colors. Alta Loma High in Rancho Cucamonga alternates light and dark green every five yards and West Hills High in the San Diego County city of Santee alternates light and dark blue on its field.

Work continues on the new red artificial turf field at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley on Friday, August 31, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

The campuses are following a trend started by Boise State University, where the football team has played on blue turf since 1986.

Eastern Washington unveiled its red turf field in 2010, and the field at Central Arkansas alternates purple and gray stripes.

Gold, yellow and black are other colors that can be found on high school fields across the nation.

The new turf at Valley View is part of a $3 million stadium reconstruction project that also includes a new synthetic track.

Samer Al Zubaidi, director of facilities for the Moreno Valley Unified School District, said red turf doesn’t cost more than the traditional green.

“They will give you whatever color you want,” he said.

With fewer high school students playing football and with transfers rampant, a school needs to do something to stand out, Barlage said.

“Being different and having something like this is a start,” he said.

Barlage said the red field will not make a difference to players, who are used to seeing green. In fact, he said the article turf will not wear down like grass does and the yard lines and numbers will be bigger and bolder.

“I think teams are going to be excited to play us here,” he said.

Johnson, Valley View’s principal, said there are more concerns about whether the red will clash with band uniforms and graduation gowns than how it will affect football and soccer players.

Corona High School has installed turf on its football field that alternates between red and black, (Photo courtesy Corona-Norco Unified School District)

At Corona High School, the turf is being replaced with alternating stripes of black and red.

“The school is pleased with the finalized look and feel that it greatly adds to Corona High School’s school spirit and athletics programs,” Corona-Norco Unified School District spokeswoman Evita Tapia-Gonzalez wrote in an email. “We are excited for our students to utilize this new turf.”

The field is expected to debut at the school’s homecoming game Friday, Sept. 7.

Santiago High, another Corona school, decided to stay with traditional green for its replacement turf. So did Canyon Springs High in Moreno Valley, which has a new stadium, and two Hemet schools, West Valley and Hemet, which have recently replaced their turf.

Read full article here: https://www.dailybulletin.com/2018/08/31/high-school-sports-are-getting-more-colorful-as-inland-stadiums-move-beyond-green-turf/