The Pros and Cons of Cam High’s Decision to Install Turf


Ian Lattimer

Cam High’s field has been partially surrounded by an orange plastic mesh fence in preparation for the upcoming work on the field.

Cam High is working to replace the current grass football field with artificial turf, and the process will start this summer and last around a year.

Having turf holds some benefits, but due to the construction, the football team and other sports that use the track or field will have to practice at Rio Mesa High School. Also, home football games will now be at Moorpark College.

Since the grass field turns to mud during the rain, turf would be better for stormier weather. Additionally, the field has patchy grass and uneven ground that can cause injuries to athletes.

Ms. Mary Perez, Cam High’s Athletic Director, supports the idea of installing turf. “The turf will allow for more activity on the field at all times of the day so we can get more use out of it,” she said. A turf field is also more sustainable and does not require water or pesticides.

However, turf does have some drawbacks. For example, the turf will take a year to be installed, displacing various sports that practice on or near the turf. Junior and starting quarterback on Cam High’s football team, James McNamara, supports the idea of having turf, but does not like that he will not be playing his home games at Cam High. It is possible that the amount of people who attend the games will decrease because the location is further away.

Small increments of lead and zinc found in turf can pose health problems since an abundance of lead can cause mental diseases, stunted growth, and death. Majority of the modern turf fields are lead-free but certain fields with custom colors may contain lead. The small amount of lead are still hazardous to athletes health. 

Junior Zach Kwast has played soccer on both turf and grass fields, and he prefers turf because of the unevenness of a normal field. Kwast, like many other athletes, does not like the protracted period of time that turf will take to install.  An additional inconvenience Kwast brought up was the ground on turf is harder, making falling more painful. 

The turf will be fully functional by the 2020-2021 school year at the latest.