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New Turf at Roscoe Eades Stadium?
New Turf at Roscoe Eades Stadium?
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Come this fall, the field at Roscoe Eades Stadium could be sporting a brand new look. The Sterling Athletic Booster Club is spearheading a fundraising effort to purchase and install a new artificial playing surface at the stadium. If adequate monetary pledges are secured in the next few weeks, booster club members say construction could begin right after graduation in May.
“Our field is in dire need of repair,” said
Rick Renner ’78
, Booster Club president. “The drainage system is over 70 years old and does not provide adequate drainage of the field. That means grass does not grow properly, leaving us with a muddy mess most years. We feel that our athletes and community deserve better. Our plan would fix the drainage system and then replace the grass surface with a new artificial surface know as FieldTurf.”
The field is in such bad shape this spring that no events can be played on it. That means the SHS girls’ soccer team will not be able to play home games on the field for the second time in three years. In 2009, the SHS boys’ soccer team could not play a regional championship match on the field because it was deemed unplayable.
“We feel our plan is the best solution to the problem,” said Renner. “The drainage problem will be solved, and SHS would then have a world-class, all-weather playing surface.”
FieldTurf is the latest generation of artificial playing surfaces, and mimics the characteristics of natural grass. More than 60 top NCAA universities play their home football games on the surface, including Illinois, Iowa and Ohio State. 22 of 32 NFL teams also utilize the surface. In fact, Super Bowl XLVI in February was played on a FieldTurf field.
“This would be a lot more than just a football field,” said Renner. “The SHS PE department would utilize the field extensively. The SHS band, cheer and pom squads, and soccer programs would all benefit. Even the baseball and softball programs would be able to utilize the surface for early-season practices when it’s normally too muddy to be outside. It would be a true school and community asset.”
Donate to the "New" Roscoe Eades campaign today!
To make a tax-deductible donation using a credit or debit card, simply click
. Monthly payments can be made utilizing this method.
To download the complete project brochure, including a pledge form with information on how to make a donation by check, click
Pledges of $1,000 or more can be paid over three years.
~Help Us Build the "New" Roscoe Eades~
Where Kids Can Play
The booster club estimates the cost of the project around $1-million. The school district, strapped for cash because of the tight economy and the state of Illinois’ financial mess, is unable to assist with funding. The boosters and another local charitable organization will provide matching funds for up to half of the total cost. Booster Club members have been busy the last few weeks seeking additional financial support, trying to raise the remaining $500,000.
“We’re off to a really good start,” said Renner, “but we have a long way to go. We’re asking anyone who can help us out to consider doing so. We feel this project is worthwhile and much needed from a practical standpoint, and it will add additional elegance to what is already a beautiful campus. Sterling has always prided itself in having the best facilities, and this field fits right in with that tradition.”
Other local high schools that currently play on FieldTurf fields include Rock Island, Mendota, and Freeport.
“We will assess where our fundraising efforts are in mid-to-late April,” said Renner. “If we have enough donations and pledges at that time, we will move forward with construction this summer. If not, we might have to wait another year. That is not something we want to do because the field needs to be fixed now. If people can help us out, we ask them to let us know as soon as possible.”
If you have questions about the project, please contact Renner at 815-590-8745 or