Extra watering saves high school football fields from drought
Tom Murray reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
FRANKLIN- The Water Reel sprinkling system at Franklin High School is working overtime this summer.
"We are stepping up our watering. Last year, we watered about two times a week this time of the year. Now, we're doing it everyday," said athletic director Sara Unertl.
Football Friday nights are just a few weeks away in Wisconsin and fields have to be ready. Hard, dry ground can be dangerous.
"When the ground is too hard, a lot of athletes will get shin splints," Unertl said.
St. Francis is another school trying to save the grass. The game field is in pretty good shape, but the practice surface is dry and crispy.
"My football coach has been here for 25 years. This is the worst he's remembered it's ever been," St. Francis Athletic Director Mike Lewandowski told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
Unless we get a lot of rain in a hurry, St. Francis plans to start watering the practice field next week.
"The boys of fall will turn the grass into dirt," Lewandowski said.
There are few worries for the many local schools that play on artificial turf.
Teams are allowed to start practicing on August 7, according to the WIAA website. The state's first games are scheduled on August 23.