On April Fool’s Day, there will be no jokes, nor pranks about muddy playing fields.
Those machines and work crews will be at South Terrebonne and Terrebonne High’s football fields to finally begin the process of laying down field turf.
Work on the two high school fields begins Monday – a lengthy process that will be completed sometime in the late-summer and before the 2019 high school football season.
The Terrebonne Parish School Board voted last fall to dedicate the money to the project, which coaches say is much-needed for the safety of the student-athletes in the area.
With just two fields to host multiple sports across four high schools and several other middle schools, the demand far outweighs the supply, causing a huge problem annually on the local athletic calendar.
Summertime rains dampen the fields and competition batters the muddy surface to the roots.
When the games are over and the fields dry out, the surfaces harden and become unsafe, if not unplayable.
Over the past several seasons, multiple games have had to be moved or rescheduled, causing inconveniences to schools and losses in revenue in a tough economic time locally.
The new surfaces will alleviate a lot of those problems.
The fields last 10-15 years and don’t hold water, which allows for use – as long as there is no lightning in the area.
In Lafourche Parish, similar surfaces got installed before the 2018 football season and the parish coaches have said repeatedly that it was one of the best decisions the school board has ever made.
“Everyone uses it,” South Lafourche Athletic Director Brian Callais said. “It’s been a benefit to our whole school.”