Two other local high school football teams will play their home games on artificial turf this season. The Bridge City Cardinals and Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears will have their fields completed before the start of the season.
HN Litton Field at Larry Ward Stadium in Bridge City had its new Matrix Turf installed with Helix near the end of the recent high school baseball season. Practices for the Cardinals football team and other athletes took place on the new turf this summer.
Bridge City head football coach Cody McGuire recalled that the turf currently on Litton Field is the same one used at SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers of the National League. soccer. The last Super Bowl was held in February at SoFi Stadium on the Matrix Turf.
Hellas Construction produces the popular synthetic surface that is also used by the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans on their playing fields at AT&T Stadium and NRG Stadium. Coach McGuire commented: “Hellas has done a great job and it’s a top class organization so our field is top class. We’re really excited about it, the kids are excited about it and to other kids from other communities come here to enter our territory because everyone in the area is excited about it.”
The Cardinals are delighted with their new home ground and McGuire believes it will benefit the Bridge City football team immensely this year. “The kids are happy to play on it. We’re not going to have to fight ants and stuff when it’s raining, and we can practice in the rain. It’s definitely going to benefit our football program,” McGuire said.
The Bridge Independent School District Board of Trustees has allocated more than $3 million for the installation of Matrix Turf at Larry Ward Stadium and other improvements to athletic facilities in the district, according to McGuire. A beautiful new video scoreboard has been installed in the stadium to enhance viewing of Cardinals home games.
Holly Fregia, chief financial officer of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District, said the costs for new football field turf, a new track and new tennis courts at LCM High School have been tendered. together. Hellas was the supplier awarded the contract for a total amount of $3,892,461.
Work is underway on the new field at Battlin’ Bear Stadium in Little Cypress-Mauriceville. Tractors and backhoes dug the ground to prepare it for the eventual laying of the new synthetic turf.
In the second week of June, it appeared that Battlin’ Bear Stadium might be ready to hold an obstacle course, but not much else. Little Cypress-Mauriceville athletic director and head football coach Eric Peevey said that will change over the next two months before the start of the high school football season. “It’s going to be ready, it’s definitely going to be ready,” insisted Peevey.
Coach Peevey shared his anticipation of the addition to the Bears football field. “We’re excited. They’re getting the whole destruction part first, ripping everything off the pitch, the grass off the pitch now. There’s a lot of excitement around the community right now,” Peevey said. “Every day it seems like something else is getting torn apart, but I’m happy to see the progress.”
The new field at Battlin’ Bear Stadium will be great, coach Peevey said. “It gives us a place every day to practice on a big pitch, and we don’t have to worry about little things like mud, rain, ants and missing practice time. It’s which hurt us last year, we had several days last year where we missed practice because we couldn’t go to the field and had to go to the gym. The gym is good for talking a bit, but at the same time, it’s not good for really getting a full workout in,” Peevey explained.
The LCM Bear football program under Coach Peevey emphasized speed last year when the Bears were co-district champions and this will be enhanced with the new turf in the coming season. Peevey analyzed: “I definitely think turf traction is going to help us, especially with our agility and speed.”
The addition of artificial turf at Larry Ward Stadium and Battlin’ Bear Stadium means four of Orange County’s five high school football fields have moved away from grass pitches and transitioned to synthetic surfaces. Leroy Breedlove Field at West Orange-Stark High School’s Dan R. Hooks Stadium and Ivan Croak Field at Vidor’s Pirate Stadium installed artificial turf ahead of last football season.
Only Orangefield High School’s FL McClain Stadium will have grass on the pitch when the football season kicks off in August. Orangefield sporting director and head football coach Josh Smalley said there had been talk of switching to artificial turf for the Bobcats home field, but added he knew no action was taken. had been taken in this direction by the administrators of the independent school district of Orangefield.
A new track has been added at Larry Ward Stadium and the same will be done later when the renovations to Battlin’ Bear Stadium are complete. The improved tracks will strengthen the track programs for both schools.
McGuire, as Sporting Director, is confident that the new pitch and track at Larry Ward Stadium will not only improve the football and track teams, but the entire Bridge City sporting department. “When teams are in their off seasons, like basketball will be on the track, women’s basketball, softball, baseball, everyone can use it. Football is going to be on fire. Last year , they had to play all of their home games. That’s definitely going to benefit all programs,” McGuire concluded.
Tennis is also booming in Bridge City and Little Cypress-Mauriceville. Four new tennis courts were completed as part of the $3 million facility upgrade carried out by Bridge City school administrators.
Randall Robertson, the Bridge City tennis coach, said it was very difficult to practice on the old courts due to the state of the facilities. “There were overgrown weeds and several cracks on all four pitches. This was obviously a hazard for the children as it was dangerous to go ‘full speed’ without knowing when you might or might not trip over a crack or loose gravel. Also, the balls would often hit the cracks causing the ball to take a wild turn or die in place, which was not very realistic for playing tennis. We often had to set up a work order to weed the courts,” Robertson described.
The new courts became available towards the end of last season and the end of the school year. Robertson said the new tennis courts are amazing and the kids have been able to enjoy them.
Robertson is very grateful. “We are so grateful that we don’t have to come to Orangefield just to play tennis. We are so grateful to everyone who played a part in getting the new courts, including Dr Kelly, Coach McGuire and the school board,” Robertson applauded.
The new LCM High School tennis courts will be located in Bear Park, across from Battlin’ Bear Stadium. Trees were cut down and removed to make room for construction of the facility to begin there.
The projects in Little Cypress-Mauriceville should be completed before the end of the year according to Fregia. The turf will be completed before the district’s first home game in late August with the track and tennis courts completed after the football season but before the New Year.
Fregia said the nearly $3.9 million contract with Hellas had other elements. “This total includes various alternative options that the District has elected to receive and includes additional additional items that are also included in this total. These items were all negotiated between the seller and the District to be included in our total price,” a added Fregia.