It’s what binds Hermann, Sullivan, St. Clair and Borgia together.

It’s what Washington, Union, Owensville and others want.

Expect the turf discussion to come to the forefront, especially if the wet spring season continues.

Turf already has proven worthy of saving games. The Union-St. Clair girls soccer game was moved from Union to St. Clair Monday. Otherwise, it would have gone into athletic limbo, the type of thing which causes headaches for athletic directors. A league game, it would have to be made up at some point.

With turf in consideration, it was a simple matter of Greg Dunigan and Chris Arand agreeing to swap home dates. The return game now will be played in Union instead of St. Clair.

Making the commitment to go to turf is not for the squeamish, or for those without a large balance in their checkbooks.

Sure, turf has come a long way since CBC became the first high school in the St. Louis region to install a turf field in 2003.

Hermann became the first local school to add turf and now has been joined by Sullivan, St. Clair and Borgia.

The turf field projects frequently come with a huge local commitment. Many schools have used the opportunity to add in all-weather tracks and some have added full stadium upgrades as part of the process. Of course, this adds to the overall cost, but the potential for hosting events becomes much greater.

Hermann, Sullivan and Borgia now have tracks capable of hosting large meets during the spring.

Turf even can be extended to baseball and softball. Without the Jesuit High School Field in New Orleans, who knows if they ever would have been able to complete the American Legion Baseball Mid-South Regional last summer?

There are other immediate benefits as well. Gym classes can be held on the fields as long as the weather isn’t horrible at that time. Turf gives practice facilities for everything from sports teams to marching bands.

The fields don’t have to be watered, fertilized, cut or lined. But there are maintenance costs in grooming the fields to make sure the rubber pellets which support the artificial grass blades are in good order.

The fields also serve as a possible revenue stream for their schools.

One day, in the not-too-distant future, it could be rare to see a football game played on grass with real mud.


Condolences go out to the family of Robynn Greer, who recently passed away.

Robynn was the head coach of the Washington Swim Team through most of this past season until she was hospitalized prior to the last regular-season meet.

Greer announced her retirement from the position at the close of the season and Jennifer Alferman-Molitor, who had led the team through the final two meets, took over.

Coaching the local summer swim teams is anything but easy, but Robynn was a consummate professional. With Washington, that included handling over 100 swimmers during long meets at hot, crowded pools while trying to keep everything moving in a proficient manner.

And our Tuesday deadlines certainly didn’t make getting the results ready and sent to us any easier. As soon as one meet was over, the leadership team had to work on getting everything ready for the next meet, from preparing heat cards to organizing the way the team was going to go to the next event.

The Washington Swim Team has been very fortunate over the years that there hasn’t been much turnover among its coaches. Even as the sport and the competitive level of the swimmers and leagues changed, the Washington Swim Team always has been a good, orderly group. I know that goes beyond the coaches to the parent leadership as well.

I know the feeling is echoed throughout the community. It’s hard to handle having an outstanding person like Robynn departing.