New turf excites Bibb Co. high school student-athletes and coaches

Money for the project will come from ESPLOST funds and will cost $2-million.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Now that high school football is over, the Bibb County School District is working to improve its sports facilities.

The Bibb County School District Athletic Department is scoring big. When student athletes step foot on the field at Ed DeFore Sports Complex, it may look different, but it’s always greener on the other side.

“In previous years, it was difficult. It would get rained out, it would be difficult to play in, the mud, and there was so many ant hills,” Westside High School soccer player Carina Hernandez said.

She says she’s excited for a new turf on the soccer field and it’s been a long time coming.

“I use to feel like, oh they only care about basketball, they only care about football. Seeing that they’re actually investing in a new soccer field is such a pretty good thing,” Hernandez said.

It’s out with the mud, and in with the turf at Ed DeFore Sports Complex. The soccer and football fields will now have turf. Money for the project will come from ESPLOST funds and will cost $2-million.

“We want to put our kids on the best surface as possible to play and we’re doing that. We have contracted with sports turf who has brought in Astroturf to put down the artificial turf. We’re putting a pad up under our turf, it’s called a “Brock Pad,” Bibb County School District Athletic Director Barney Hester said.

The “Brock Pad” will help reduce the risk of concussions.

“If you have one, it’s a problem. So anything we can do to try to eliminate that concern we’d want to do,” Hester said.

Westside High Head Football Coach Spoon Risper says the turf is a win for all 12 schools that use the fields.

“Any time you invest in your kids, they don’t feel like second class citizens. This is first class,” Risper said.

If you look good, you feel good, and in turn you play good.

“It feels like you can enjoy playing soccer,” Hernandez said.

A new concession stand and restrooms is being built by the soccer field. The soccer field will be complete by next month, and the football field is going to be done by spring.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.