New Field: Pros & Woes

Opinion: The new field is a great update. However, it is missing vital elements for some Rocklin High sports.


Julia McLean, Podcast Editor

The football field is getting a makeover! After 10 years, the school decided it was time to replace the turf and track. However, there’s a lot more that goes into changing the field than one may think.
The last field Rocklin High School had was installed in 2012. For a turf field 10 years is quite a long time, most usually lasting 7-9 years. But, because of good maintenance and patch work, the Thunder made use out of it for a whole decade. The design elements were decided upon by a handful of people. Many of them being Rocklin coaches and staff.

A new field includes all new turf and a resurfaced track as stated earlier, and this comes at a price, a big one. The new turf install cost the district a grand total of about $2,350,000. Where is all of this money coming from? According to Craig Rouse, Rocklin Unified School District’s Facilities Director, the money came from a Routine Restricted Maintenance account. Abide Builder, Inc. was the company chosen to tackle this project. Established in 2007, the commercial construction company has, according to their website, worked many jobs for schools over the past fourteen summers. Demolition of the old field began on June sixth of this year, and the field was finished just before the school’s first home football game, on August 19th.

Multiple times last season the refs apologized to the visiting team for the faded lines.

As beautiful as this new field is, it has a few fatal flaws. Number one being that there are no permanent lacrosse lines. Rocklin High School has had a lacrosse team since 2020, making this upcoming spring season its fourth year on our campus. For the past three years, the lacrosse lines have had to be painted on. Usually after being played on for one or two games, they are hardly visible. Multiple times last season the refs apologized to the visiting team for the faded lines.

When talk of the new field arose, many lacrosse players believed that permanent lines meant the team was going to truly become part of the school, and be taken seriously. However, this was not the case. Permanent lacrosse lines were not installed, only football and soccer. Why? It’s hard to say.

According to Craig Rouse, lacrosse lines were not included in the bid, meaning it did not even pass the approval process. Mr.Stewart, Rocklin High’s principal, claimed that there was a worry about how many seams were going to be added to the field. This is interesting considering how many neighboring highschools have installed lacrosse lines. To name a few; Woodcreek, Vista Del Lago, Oakridge, Granite Bay, Davis Senior, and Rio Americano. JT Mortara, head Boys Varsity Lacrosse coach, said that it is difficult to be on the same level as other schools, when our fields are not equal. It doesn’t mean that the lacrosse program can’t excel, but missing lines make it more difficult for both teams to practice.

Varsity Boys Lacrosse player Josh Cooke said, “I’m actually pretty angry that we don’t have lines because you know, it just makes me feel like we aren’t being seen as an actual program.” Instead of permanent lines, the lacrosse teams will have to resort to painting the lines on for the next 8-10 years. Whitney High School’s head Girls Varsity Lacrosse coach Jeremy Veldstra explained how Whitney’s lacrosse lines are painted on using a TurfTank, rented out from a local youth soccer program. If Rocklin High School wanted to purchase a TurfTank to use over the next 10 years, it would cost $45,000. A subscription would cost $10,000 a year, along with $2,000 worth of paint. In the end, the decision to not add permanent lacrosse lines is going to cost the school and/or district thousands of dollars.

The new field does not serve 50 percent of the sports that use it; Track and Field, and Lacrosse.

Another issue with having no lacrosse line is that the youth lacrosse programs cannot rent out our field for club league games. Unlike how football and soccer programs can, because there are lines laid for their sport. So ultimately, the school district could be making money off the lacrosse lines, just by them being there. The second issue about the new field is how it has caused many track and field events to be moved or removed. Mr. Eckman, Rocklin’s Head Track and Field coach said that the discus pit, high jump, and pole vault have all been rearranged, or even removed. After being invited to one meeting, Eckman never heard anything else about the changes being made regarding the field and track.

The removal of one of the shot put pits and now having only one pole vault track will increase the length of meets. Eckman said it also,”creates all sorts of logistical issues,” that he hasn’t been able to tackle yet. This increased time will negatively affect the athletes, coaches, and parents of the students participating. Many track and field athletes are frustrated with the changes, especially the fact that these changes were not broadcasted to the students. No one knew what was happening besides the admin and a few coaches. Ten years ago, Eckman felt that there was more communication overall when it came to the process of creating a new field, from design to final laying of the turf. This past year, there was little to none.

The new field does not serve 50 percent of the sports that use it; Track and Field, and Lacrosse. This is an issue for Rocklin High, as its athletic program may struggle due to a decline in athletes, as a result of a field that does not accommodate for its players. What happens next, is anyone’s guess.

Want More?

Listen to the longer interview with Coach Eckman on our Podcast, Live From M5: