Ozark’s new turf at Tigers Stadium passes the eye test by all accounts and figures to get a thumbs up from football and soccer players, as well.
Anyone tackled onto the turf should experience a noticeably softer landing than on Ozark’s previous turf.
“This turf has a padding underneath it. We didn't have that before,” Ozark Athletics Director Yancey Little said. “With the padding, there will be more cushion to it compared to the old turf. You can definitely tell the difference just by walking on it. It gives a little added safety and adds to the life expectancy of the turf.”
Sprinturf’s recently-completed turf installation was a long time coming. Ozark’s previous turf outlasted its average life expectancy by being in play for football and soccer games since the stadium’s opening in 2008.
Over 14 years, the old turf was home 75-80 varsity football games and well over 300 boys and girls varsity soccer matches, in addition to several seasons of Evangel football games.
“It had a good life and hosted a lot of events and a lot of games. But it was time for it to go,” Little said. “Like anything these days, they make things better and this turf is no exception. It was time to upgrade.
“What they tell us is the average life expectancy (for a turf field) is 10 years,” he added. “You can consistently extend the life of the turf by taking care of it. This turf will be here longer than I'll be here.”
The new field is highlighted by a different shade of green every five yards and the end zones feature red turf with white lettering ‘Ozark’ in the north end zone and ’Tigers’ in the south end zone. The field is outlined with red and white turf.
“It pops,” Little said. “It's bright. I love the colored end zones. It's definitely something our community and our kids can take pride in. We're very pleased with the outcome.”
Sponsorship from Cox Health and Ozark Bank helped offset costs of the turf project.
The new turf comes on the heels of the track surrounding the playing field receiving a new surface two years ago.
“It's back to looking almost new,” Little said of the stadium. “There are a few other things we can do to get it all looking really good.”
Ozark will debut the new turf Aug. 26 against Carl Junction for football and Sept. 1 versus Jefferson City Helias Catholic for soccer.
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