CHS Athletic Fields Leave Much To Be Desired

Football, Baseball, Softball, and even Marching Band are affected


photo by Talania Wilson

Although Cypress has many good programs in VAPA and athletics, much work is needed on the fields and courts.

by Talania Wilson, Staff Reporter

The Cypress High athletics fields aren’t in the best conditions. There is grass in the wrong places, and the grass that should be there is lumpy, so the fields get too muddy from all the exposed dirt. 

Students in marching band continue to perform well, in spite of the poor field conditions at rehearsal.

Kevin Dull, the softball coach, said the field “needs to be improved.” What needs to be improved is the overall conditions of the field like the grass and the dirt. Grass needs to be fertilized better. When the field is overused you get a compaction problem, which leads to the roots getting strangled and the grass dying. Not only that, if you don’t fertilize it the grass isn’t strong enough to fight off the weeds, then it starts to die.

The bad field conditions can affect athletes and the way they play. Injuries are possible and James Quirion, the band director, said that it’s frustrating and difficult to practice on the fields because the clumps and hills can cause injuries, like sprained ankles or depending on the instrument, even a face injury. And sometimes it’s wet where they practice, because of the antiquated irrigation infrastructure, which isn’t the best because there are only two irrigation technicians for the entire district of 21 schools.  

Boy’s baseball is a successful program, but the field conditions where they practice are substandard.

John Weber, the baseball coach, said at the moment his field is in disarray because it is getting renovated over Thanksgiving break. His field renovations consist of aerating it, dethatching it, and over-seeding it in order to put new grass over it. This is important to do because over time when you’re running and running on a field the solid gets compacted, causing a compaction problem. Taking care of a field is not cheap. Coach Weber says the Anaheim Union High School District does not give anything to the head coaches to fix their fields. But over the last few years the district has hired Zohra Cronin, Director of Maintenance and Operations and Juliann Ferguson, Energy manager, who oversees the irrigation technicians, and everything to do with the grass. Since they have been hired, Weber has been able to get fertilizer from them. Since they have been hired they have been trying to make our fields better. Desare Burdick, the Operations Supervisor, says up until 2020 the district had little support regarding the athletics fields. But Cronin and Ferguson have started to view athletics fields as outdoor classrooms, and have been supporting the athletics field as much as possible, supplying seed, topper, top soil, fertilizer, and equipment as needed, for example.

Coach Weber still gets funding for all the other things he does to the field, because they have set such high expectations. He gets funding from parents who have players on the baseball team. To renovate the field will cost around $13,000 and they have to fund for that. But former Cypress High student and current Major League Baseball player, David Fletcher, donated money to put in fake grass. Weber spends $600 a month to fertilize and de-weed his field. They have to take care of it even during the summer, because grass doesn’t stop growing.

  Head Football coach, Richard Feldman, said that a couple of years ago they spent some money to fix the field, but it didn’t last long. And because of the conditions, he worried that his team would get hurt from all the clumps and mud. Head Baseball coach Weber said, “When one is on a nice field one is more excited to play.” Right now, the fields are the best they have been since Weber started here 24 years ago. Weber said that the fields used to be “ten times worse,” and a part of the field beginning to get better is because of Cronin and Ferguson, trying their best to help. But the field still needs to be improved because so many students are in sports, and our district is the “last one” that does not have a turf field. We have one football field and we are one of the biggest districts in Orange County. Also our school doesn’t have a JV softball field. Sandra Armstrong, one of our softball coaches, said that she would like to see our school put a softball field in. 

Sports are not just about having fun, because they build discipline, compassion, communication, critical thinking, and you make friends.  But sports in schools are not treated as well as the classrooms. Cypress High School loses students because of our terrible fields, because other districts have better athletic programs. A new field will be very beneficial to the coaches, students, and the school.