Last year when Simpson College built a brand new artificial playing surface that now occupies Bill Buxton Stadium, they solved one problem but created another.
The football field was seeing tremendous amounts of wear and tear because of the amount of action it saw. So, the artificial surface was installed last season.
Now Simpson College and Indianola High School are left with scheduling hassles to assure that teams do not get the short end of the stick.
“We sit down and have a meeting with the Indianola school and sit and talk so everybody is on the same page,” said the Men and Women’s Head Soccer Coach Aziz Haffar.
“John (Sirianni, athletics director) makes sure that for specific days you can get time on the field. We are very fortunate to have that kind of a surface.”
Haffar said he knew when the decision was made to put in that kind of surface that practice time on the field was going to be limited. He also thinks that his team’s time on the field isn’t less than what it should be. “I think that we get ample time. We share it and work it all out,” said Haffar.
Haffar states that the coaches are very good about moving practices around so that if a specific coach needs or wants the field on a specific day, that they can easily change things around.
Practice time is made possible because each sport has an alternative practice field, plus the four basketball courts.
Simpson’s practice fields are grass and that is what the players will play on and need to be used to when they visit other conference competition.
Junior Brandon Volz feels similar to his coach about the practice situation. He doesn’t think that lack of time on the home field, and increased practice time on grass fields, affects home field advantage over visiting teams.
“It plays similar to grass,” said Volz. “I think that the facilities here are good, obviously we’d like to get more practice time, but I think they divide it up pretty evenly.”
On the other side of the field, many players are quite unhappy about the practice situations. While both teams have a second field to practice on, it’s only fair that the soccer team has equal time of the turf as well.
“We play more games than the football team does,” said sophomore Erin Goettl. “And we don’t get get to practice on our home turf the day before a game.”