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It doesn’t have a name yet, but that didn’t stop Los Alamos Middle School from having a small dedication ceremony for its new football field Thursday, just before the Hawks played their game against the McCurdy Bobcats.
According to LAMS Football coach Darren Jones, the field’s been open since fall sports began, and that now would be a great time for the ceremony.
“Since this was going to be our last game here for the season, we decided now would be a good time,” Jones said.
According to Jones, the turf features the same type of artificial turf that’s on Sullivan Field, and ever since his kids have been using it, he can see a marked difference between the artificial turf and the natural grass field they’ve had since the early 60s.
“It’s really awesome,” he said. “We’ve had a soccer tournament here earlier and we’ve got a lot of good feedback about the new field.
“The best part about it is that there are no bumps,” Jones said. “It’s a nice, level playing field, easy to run and maneuver on.”
LAMS’ Assistant Principal Anna Vargas-Gutierrez characterized the field as a real accomplishment for the middle school.
“It’s something that everyone can enjoy for a long time,” she said. “It’s beautiful and it’s something we can take pride in when we host games.”
School Board member Judy Bjarke-McKenzie was one of the officials on hand to cut the ribbon to the new school. She said she remembers the “field” when she attended the middle school in the mid-1960s.
“This was just a dirt track back then,” she said, adding that it was riddled with gopher holes and rocks.
“We’d make all sorts of excuses so we wouldn’t have to run,” Bjarke-McKenzie joked.
On a more serious note, Assistant Superintendent Paula Dean, who was also at the event, said the old field was truly a legal liability for the district, as kids would inevitably get hurt on the field every year. For that same reason, it was also hard to get other teams to come to the school and play.
Dean also said that provided outside organizations follow the rules when it comes to what type of footwear can be used on the field, the public will be able to use the field as well.
“Anything that’s a school benefit is also a community benefit,” Dean said.