Earlier in the week, there was social media uproar from Eastside soccer students because they were told they wouldn’t be able to play home games at Sharp Stadium this year. Eastside’s soccer field isn’t in the condition it needs to be in to allow students to play on it, and Sharp is the only alternative.
It’s currently short growing season in regards to the field and the grounds keeping company suggested that Sharp be allowed to rest to prevent damage and allow the grass to grow, according to Darren Berry, Newton County student services supervisor.
However, after searching for other alternatives, Berry says they were not able to find any other options that satisfied them and Eastside will be able to play at Sharp Stadium this year.
“What we were doing initially was trying to determine if there was an option to have them play somewhere else so that we could attempt to protect the surface of Sharp. But we’re just going to let them play there and then do the repairs that we need to do to Sharp if there needs to be any after soccer season,” Berry said.
Barry added that he doesn’t think there’ll be any problems with Sharp being ready by the time football starts.
Berry says that if they’d just left Sharp alone, forcing Eastside to play soccer elsewhere, the grass would grow once growing season began. The only difference, according to Berry, is that with play on Sharp during soccer season there is some projected damage, but they’ll just place some sod on it.
“When it’s wet and the grass is dormant and you play a game like soccer, which is constant moving and a lot of cutting and turning with cleated feet it does do some damage to the ground, but it’s not something we can’t repair before football season,” Berry said. “We’ll get it done and it’ll be in good shape.”
Eastside will be the only team to play at Sharp this season, as Alcovy and Newton both have fields that are in good condition. Berry added that after the soccer season, they will assess what to do with Eastside’s current field. They are currently in the investigative stages.
“What’s going on at the Eastside field, is it’s been there 20 years. It’s been minimal maintenance done to it and it’s just really do for a big [overhaul] and that’s what we’re looking in to doing,” Berry said. “Hopefully we can look into doing that in the future or create some other viable option for them.”