CLAY, Alabama - Clay-Chalkville High School in Alabama installed a new Shaw Sports Turf field to kick off the season and recently capped off an undefeated season with the Alabama 6A state championship.
The Cougars batted away a pass with 20 seconds left to preserve the 36-31 victory over Saraland.
Throughout the season, the Cougars won nearly all of their games in convincing fashion, outscoring their opponents by an average of 27 points per game. In the first round of the playoffs on Clay-Chalkville’s new field, they beat Scottsboro by a basketball-like score of 85-50.
The school, which previously played on grass, completed the new field in time for the fall sports season. The installation of the synthetic turf was a joint venture and partnership between the Jefferson County Board of Education and the City of Clay. “I have no doubt that our new playing surface played a key role in our success,” said Michael Lee, Principal at Clay-Chalkville High School.
Fast, dense and firm, Classic is a premium high performance synthetic turf system designed with Tapeslide XP fiber to maximize player performance and speed. Classic is designed to be exceptionally durable to meet the demands of high-use fields.
“We believe the durability of the field and the ease of maintenance make Shaw Sports Turf the right choice,” said said Dr. Rafael McDaniel, Director of New Construction for the Jefferson County School System. “If we had the funds, we’d probably convert all of our fields from grass to synthetic turf.”
McDaniel said the field is used for football, soccer, and band practice. It will also be used for the school’s future lacrosse program in addition to other community sports activities and events.
“From a practical standpoint, it provides a surface we can use at any time and it can withstand a great deal of play,” said McDaniel. “It also provides a source of pride for the students boost for the students in their extracurricular programs such as athletics and band and for community events.”
The turf field will provide additional opportunities to host more events, and Head Football Coach Jerry Hood, Athletic Director for the school, believes the field can generate enough revenue to repay the cost within five-to-six years.
Coach Hood is also excited about the prospects for the new field.
“We can utilize the Shaw Sports Turf field more often and spend more time coaching our kids,” said Hood. “It frees up other spaces around campus for other kids to do things, as well.”
Hood said the new turf improves the appearance of the stadium complex and instills a new element of pride in the program.
“If I’m a kid and I get to play on a surface like the Shaw Sports Turf field, it says that this program is important and there must be great things going on at this school,” he said.
Hood was right. There are great things going on at Clay-Chalkville and the 2014 6A state championship in football is just one of them.
Clay -Chalkville Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jerry Hood with Shaw Sports Turf's Todd Britton