Roberts Field: New Turf, Old Track

After receiving a generous grant, Roberts Field Sports Complex gained a brand new turf and only a re-painted track, which slightly upset some of Holyoke High’s athletes.


As most students know, Holyoke High was recently recieved a beautiful new turf, just in time for the start of the fall sports season. While everyone showed up on the first day of school excited about the brand new purple and green turf, the track was still drying from it’s new, half done…paint job.

While the turf is without a doubt a useful and much needed upgrade to the school’s athletic facilities, the need for a new track is far past due.  A new track was last installed in 2001, along with the turf we had prior to it being redone.

“It upsets me that our track is as old as it is,” said Maggie McAndrew ’17, an avid and talented runner for Holyoke High. “Compared to schools we run at, with these brand new, beautiful tracks, ours is like running on pavement, which is… well, bad.”

As a fellow athlete who has ran on the track and cross country teams of Holyoke High for three – going on four – years now, I can attest that running on our track is comparable to running on concrete, which is the opposite of how a track should truly be. Not to mention, the track’s new paint job is still lacking its lanes 3 weeks into the fall season, making it nearly impossible for the cross country coaches to create proper speed workouts for their teams.

Holyoke High’s Boy’s Cross Country team ran a very successful season last year, racking in some remarkable times and claiming the Western Mass title for the first time since the birth of the program.  Cameron Correia ’17 and Izaien Lugo ’18, both captains off the cross team and recently named Super 7 runners for this season, had some strong feelings about the track.

“We worked so hard last year to be the best in Western Mass, and achieved our goal,” said Correia. “And it sort of feels like we got nothing in return but a painted track.”

Lugo followed by saying “It’s unfortunate that the track wasn’t fully replaced, but I am still grateful for the paint job, because it seems to be a rare thing that the funding is engaged with the sport of running, so what can you do?”

The boys are both in definite agreement that they will be giving this season their all, regardless of the issues with the track, and hope to continue giving Holyoke High a good name by bringing home another Western Mass Championship.

While the students of Holyoke High are obviously grateful to have a wonderful new turf, the idea of a new track is definitely in the sights of others.  With such success stemming from the boys, and the dedication of the small girl’s team as well, the track is a small factor in their hard work – but, a new one would certainly benefit the future of both programs.