New Turf Field Plan Causes Controversy

*APRIL 2 UPDATE: No, the soccer team isn’t losing its field! None of this is real, it’s just an Eagle Eye April Fools’ Day prank! Happy April Fools’ Day!

Members of the girls and boys soccer teams have been protesting the loss of their new field to the football team. L-R, Noah Newlin, Nate Ellenberger, Rocky Romani, Kevin Carper and Avalyn Moore.

Construction of the much anticipated artificial turf field, lights, and bleachers continues at the former Tyrone varsity soccer field. However, the announcement of a major change of plans for the use of the field has created controversy between members of the school’s soccer and football teams and their supporters.

“We originally planned to let the soccer teams use the turf, but we decided that it’s just too nice for soccer,” said Tyrone Athletic Director Luke Rhoades, “We are going to give the field to the varsity football program.”

We originally planned to let the soccer teams use the turf, but we decided that it’s just too nice for soccer

— Tyrone AD Luke Rhoades

The change was made after the Tyrone football coaching staff saw the new field for the first time last month.

“Because we play over 60% of our games on turf, to stay competitive in the new Laurel Highlands Conference, the team needs to practice on turf every day,” said Tyrone Head football coach John Franco.

Asked if he was concerned that the soccer teams would be disappointed to lose the field, Franco said, “it is what it is.”

“At the end of the day, it just comes down to who is the better team? How many wins did the soccer team have last year? How many tickets do they sell to their games?” said Franco.

Tyrone varsity football players were excited by the news.

“I was surprised when I heard, but I agree with Coach Franco, we deserve the new field more than the soccer team does,” said star quarterback Ashton Walk.

Rhoades stressed that the new field will be added to the football program, but will not replace Gray Field.

“The football team will still play their home games at Gray Field. There is too much history there to replace it, but all practices will now be held at the former soccer field, which will be rededicated as the Coach John Franco Practice Field,” said Rhoades.

Starting in the fall, all girls’ and boys’ soccer practices and games will be relocated to the infield at the track.

“I know that the grass at the track field is pretty rough, but we’ll remove some of the biggest rocks and put down some grass seed and straw this spring. We’re hoping to make it playable by the fall,” said TASD Director of Facilities Jordan Good.

Both varsity Tyrone soccer coaches and members of the girls and boys Tyrone soccer teams are furious at the new plan.

“I feel like this was just a big bait and switch,” said Tyrone’s head boys soccer coach Alex Bartlett. “I thought we were getting a brand new field. But at the end of the day, this is just another obstacle for Tyrone soccer to overcome.”

The Tyrone varsity soccer players recently held a protest at the site of the former soccer field.

“We plan to be here every Friday after school until this decision is reversed,” said senior soccer player and protest organizer Avalyn Moore.”I am going to chain myself to the fence until we get our field back.”

Tyrone soccer mom Lori Moore said she plans to attend the next school board meeting in protest.

I thought we were getting a brand new field. But at the end of the day, this is just another obstacle for Tyrone soccer to overcome

— Boys Soccer Coach Alex Bartlett

“I am outraged but totally not surprised,” said Moore.”Both of my children play soccer and we will not stand for this.”

Soccer standout and varsity football field goal kicker Rocky Romani said the field issue has put him in a tough situation, caught between the two warring teams.

“I don’t know, I’m just the kicker,” said Romani, “On one hand, soccer is my first love, but let’s face it, Tyrone football is a pretty big deal. Plus, girls dig football players more than soccer players, so I don’t know how to feel about it.”

While most of the controversy has been between the soccer programs, the football team, and the athletic department, the Tyrone Varsity Cheerleaders are also upset and feel like their concerns are being ignored.

“Why don’t they just move the games to the new field too? All this money is being spent, but in the fall we’ll still be cheering to the same blank stone wall,” said Tyrone Varsity Cheer Coach Jessica Anderson.