Submitted by Jamie Howell
Recently the Bedford Select Board discussed the current state of the playing turf on Sabourin Field at Bedford High School. Ian Lacy of Burlington-based Tom Irwin, Inc, a specialist in product assessment, told the Select Board that he believes the current turf field will need to be replaced by 2025 as it is over 11 years old. Discussions on playing surfaces are being held across the country and everyone from scholastic athletes, pro athletes, sports writers, politicians, and sports fans have opinions on playing surface safety, cost, and quality. When choosing a new playing surface for our community, we should take all those factors into consideration. One of the first major decisions the town will have to make is, do we replace the old turf with new turf or go back to natural grass, Sabourin Field’s original surface before the turf replacement of 2013? Regardless of what the town chooses, I’m sure everyone will be happy when they see a brand-new green playing surface on Sabourin Field in 2025. The only problem with that picture?
The color should be blue.
If a natural surface is chosen, Kentucky Blue Grass would be a great option. It is a proven natural grass and one of the most popular playing surfaces in the country. The symbolism of grass that pays homage to Bedford Blue in a subtle way is a nice touch, right? Perhaps. But what, you may ask, is the biggest disadvantage of Kentucky Blue Grass? It’s not blue enough, which is why blue turf is the better option. While far from common, it is not unprecedented to have blue turf. Boise State University put blue turf on the map when they boldly decided to replace their standard green surface with blue. It debuted in 1986 to stellar reviews and elevated their branding and school pride to a whole new level. We have a chance to do the same, and to set our field apart from all the others. When someone visits Sabourin Field, there will be no doubt that they know where they are when they see that Bedford Blue turf with Bedford White end zones and yard lines. This is Bedford. This is Buccaneers country. A blue surface would symbolize our town spirit and pride in a big, bold, blue way for all to see, and if you ask me, that’s a big home field advantage.