Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz High School football field dried out, unusable

Santa Cruz High football field closed for play due to drought conditions

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Santa Cruz Cardinals High School football team won't host one game this season since their field has dried up due to the record drought and deemed unsafe for use. 

"These dry areas here are rock hard its like playing on asphalt," said head football coach Jesse Trumbull.

Trumbull said there won't be any Friday night lights or touchdowns on this dried-up field this season.

"We're really concerned with concussions -- it's really the hot topic with any athletics at this point," said Trumbull.

The field is physically unusable -- not even the physical education classes at the school are using it --  and school officials worry that things like completely exposed sprinkler heads could cause athletes to trip and fall.

Uneven ground makes knee and ankle injuries more likely, which coach Trumbull says  no good for any football player.  In fact, the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Officials Association toured the field recently and shut down any play.

"The level of play that we're asking them is inconsistent with the facility they're being given," said Trumbull.

The Santa Cruz Water Department has allowed the school to use more water than what the water restrictions allow to help get the field back to playing standards.

"I want to underscore the health and human aspect of this, these are kids that are out playing, they're playing football," said Eileen Cross, a spokeswoman for the city's water department.

Coach Trumball said the school is hoping to look at the idea of a turf field in the future.

He said, "It's kind of been the dream and obviously with the drought, it's more realistic to a lot of us that we should go for it."

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