WHS builds soccer practice field

Published 4:40 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

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For The Washington Daily News

Washington High School continues to improve its athletic facilities with a new soccer practice field. The field is six to eight acres long, ranging from the Slatestone Road entrance almost to the game field.

The field cost between $75,000 and $80,000 and is currently mostly dirt. The grass still needs to be put in which is expected to be done by the upcoming soccer season in the fall. There is one spot on the field that is not dirt. This part of the field is expected to be an auxiliary gym. “We hope to use this for multiple teams,” soccer coach Jim Kozuch said. “It will be big for the wrestling team because they are currently practicing in a classroom with pads on the walls. They have 15 incoming freshmen so a nice facility for them will be great.” He hopes that it will be used by ROTC classes and band practices.

This is the next phase in a multiyear project that started ten years ago. It began with fundraising for the soccer game field that opened last fall which allowed the girls and boys soccer teams to move from the football field into their own facility. There are other additions besides the field that Kozuch hopes will also be added. “Ideally, we would like to have more parking because parking can be a mess. We hope to use some of the space for a parking lot. We also hope to add bleachers to the game field to allow more spectators,” Kozuch said. Some other additions include new bathrooms and a concession stand. These additional amenities are only being held back by money. Kozuch said they need to do fundraising to get more money to be able to pay for everything they hope to put in.

The practice field process began with WHS softball coach Brad Horton. He talked to Kozuch about improving the fields as the old one was not cutting it. Horton owns a construction company and he was able to make sure that construction began on time after the school board approved the project. “I saw the old field and the players couldn’t run because the surface was uneven. I knew it needed an upgrade and I wanted to help however I could because better facilities here only helps the athletic program,” Horton said. Horton’s crew began the process by mowing the old grass down. After that, they rough graded it, which consists of making the ground more level. The next step is to fine grade soil by removing the rocks and other debris. Once completed, grass will be planted and can begin to grow.

The field is another athletic facility upgrade following the new track and improvements to the baseball and softball fields. WHS continues to improve its fields and bolster its programs. Kozuch believes this will be huge for the soccer program at WHS. “Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Beaufort County. This new practice field will attract lots of upcoming players and the program will only continue to improve,” Kozuch said. “It’s a nice piece of land, let’s make something out of it.”