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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

September 16, 2008 at 11:11 AM

On grass and turf

West Seattle plays O’Dea on Friday, and while it’s important to note that this is a game between top-10 teams, I’d like to note that this is an opportunity to see a marquee game played on grass. Artificial turf, whether it’s the carpet kind or the ground-up tire kind, has become the staple on fields around our region, and considering the rainfall we usually get, perhaps that’s for the best.

I’ve covered some messy games in my day — imagine a Florida field a day after a hurricane, or a game played in the middle of a midwest storm — but never one here. There isn’t a KingCo team that plays on grass; Pop Keeney Stadium has the old artificial turf, and most other stadiums play on the Fieldturf that’s become so popular (even if you leave it with tiny bits of rubber, like Dippin Dots, in your shoe).

There are reasons people are against turf that go beyond nostalgia and personal preference, and a Kitsap Sun article detailed them here. This paragraph somes them up:

But plastic turf has its own potholes. Some varieties contain lead in the pigments used to color the blades of “grass.” The spaces between the blades are typically filled with ground-up used tires, called crumb rubber, which also contain toxicants. Critics question whether the materials are safe for children to play on and whether stormwater flowing through fake turf might produce harmful runoff.

I understand all the reasons for turf, reasons that go beyond maintenance issues and into increased playing time and real injury problems that grass can cause (especially in the rain). But at the same time, there’s something to a game played on real grass — in football and soccer, too. What I find interesting is that as many baseball fields haven’t made the same jump, and considering how many rainouts we get, I’m not sure why that is.

But anyway, if you really miss seeing a good game on grass, go to West Seattle Stadium this Friday. O’Dea and West Seattle will make it worth the trip.

Morning stars

Jack Kelly, Mount Si, golf. Kelly shot a 4-under 31 at Tall Chief to help Mount Si beat Newport.

Evgeny Krenstinskiy, Puget Sound Adventist, boys soccer. Besides having a great name that makes me feel a little bitter when I have to spell mine out, he had a hat trick that gave his team a 3-2 win against Bear Creek.

Tonight’s top games

Eastlake at Woodinville, girls soccer, 5:30 p.m. Defending 4A champ Eastlake goes on the road to try and protect its long winning streak.

Snohomish at Edmonds-Woodway, volleyball, . Panthers will try to knock off the sixth-ranked Warriors in a WesCo match.

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