Failed field install leads to Laurel football woes

Problems with the field in Laurel forced the high school to play their home opener as an away game.

LAUREL, MD (WUSA9) - Angry parents are blaming Prince George’s County school officials for neglecting maintenance at Laurel High School so badly the football field is still chained up and off limits even though the sports season is already underway.

On Friday the Laurel Spartans were forced to play their home opener as an away game against their opponents at Largo.

All games for the next three weeks will be relocated.

“I feel like where’s our tax dollars going,” said Nicole Odom, whose son plays football while her daughter plays soccer.

Prince George’s County School CEO Kevin Maxwell denied that administrators have ignored or neglected the field.

In an email to parents, Maxwell explained a contractor was hired to restore fields at three high schools including Laurel. Unfortunately, an effort to reseed Laurel’s field with Bermuda grass in early July failed. Additional seeding was done August 24.

“We expect the sprigs and seeds will provide coverage in a few weeks,” Maxwell wrote.

Odom complained that Laurel’s aging facilities have been neglected while newer schools that are not as needy have received upgrades such as artificial turf playing fields.

Read the full email from the school’s CEO here:

The Laurel High School soccer/football field was in very poor condition at the conclusion of the spring sports season.  The school system hired a contractor to sprig the soccer/football in early July with Bermuda grass; however, we did not have the expected growth and coverage.   This process worked at Eleanor Roosevelt and Frederick Douglass high schools over the summer, using the same contractor to sprig the field.

Approximately, eight days ago, we seeded the field with quick-growing grass.  We expect the sprigs and seeds will provide coverage in a few weeks.

Laurel High School Principal, Mr. Dwayne Jones, his staff and the athletic office have rescheduled events scheduled for the first three weeks of the season.  Please contact the school for specific details regarding the revisions to the athletic schedules.

Thank you for your patience as we work to improve the football/soccer field.


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