JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Christmas has come early for three Jackson County High Schools. When the 2018 high school football season kicks off,St. Martin, East Central and Vancleave will all have new artificial turf football fields.
After a bidding process the Jackson County School Board awarded a contract to Sports Turf out of Whitesburg, Georgia to construct artificial turf on the football field at East Central High School and artificial turf and a new track at both St. Martin and Vancleave High Schools.
Work is already underway at St. Martin. Yellow Jackets head coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead says the new turf will prove to be a major benefit, especially on rainy days.
Whitehead said, "It going to help during practice because the practice field is located in a wet, low lying area. We get a lot of practices rained out. It will help in that area. It will also improve our overall performance on Friday night. It will also give St. Martin a good fresh look.
Sports Turf President Aaron McWhorter and his Superintendent Jason Hester were going plans at East Central High School Wednesday morning. McWhorter says the artificial turf to be used on all three football fields is an Astro Turf variety.
McWhorter said, "Astro turf is an old variety that goes way back a long way. But new technologies are basically so much better then they were in the past. Really safe product."
Sports Turf will install a rubber infield, instead of the new cork infield.
"A rubber infield has proven to last a long time, "said McWhorter.
Sports Turf has been in business since 1991 and has built football, baseball, softball and soccer fields at high school and colleges throughout the Deep South.
Only six local high schools still have natural grass turf: Gulfport, Long Beach, St. Stanislaus, Moss Point, George County and Pass Christian.