Turf field may bring more injuries to student athletes


Sevy Enter

Current and historic Owatonna high school football field which has been here for many years.

Angel Barajas, Writer

In November 2019, the Owatonna community voted to build a new high school and to allocate $8 million toward repurposing the current high school campus for the school district and community needs.The new Owatonna High School will cost taxpayers $104 million, on top of the $22 million given by local business and the land donated by federal insurance. So altogether, it will cost $114 million. 

The new OHS is expected to be completely built in the summer of 2023 leading to the first year at the high school for teachers and students. The new OHS includes a three story building of 317,000 square feet of land with some cool features like an 825-seat auditorium and a 3,451-seat football stadium. There is also a huge parking lot that can hold 890 vehicles. Students are excited for this new addition which will all sit on 90- acres just off 18th Street near the intersection of Highways 14 and 218.

Students and teachers are very excited for the new high school but they see the negatives and positive sides of this addition. Sophomore Patrick Anderson said, “I am very excited for new high school because it is going to be more modern and everything is going to get upgraded like the football field but there is ups and downs to that because it is turf and it is nice and easy to play on but it causes many injuries and turf burns which don’t feel good.”

Using a turf field brings positives and negatives. One of the negatives is that most athletes will get some kind of injury faster than they would in natural grass. According to the University of Hospital Portage Medical Center they found that 58 percent of athletes are more likely to sustain an injury during athletic activity on artificial turf. Researchers identified a total of 953 injuries during the 2021-2022 athletic seasons, with 585 of them occurring on turf and 368 on natural grass. Turf might sound amazing to some athletes, but after all most injuries happen due to turf when it comes to sports and some of these injuries include knee and ankle injuries. Yet the most common injury is skin abrasions which are painful for athletes. 

The new turf field will be ready in the summer of  2023 and will host football, lacrosse and soccer.