• Brighton head coach Morgan Cruce instructs a couple of players during the team's first practice on turf Thursday afternoon. Photo by Jeff Ireland

A little bit of history was made Thursday afternoon at Brighton High School.

For the first time in Tipton County, a football team held a full practice on artificial turf.

At 2:39 p.m. on a sunny and cloudless 80-degree day, Cardinal position groups began to jog on to the brand new turf.


Brighton’s field has been more or less ready for a couple of weeks and is part of a $5 million project announced a year ago that includes in the installation of turf fields for all three Tipton County high schools. Munford’s field is basically done and Covington’s is very close.

The players’ moods Thursday afternoon at Brighton were a mix between upbeat and overwhelmed. New head coach Morgan Cruce has a mantra for his team called “Shock and Awe” and he said that theme was reflected in the first spring practice of the year.

“When I look back on the day, there was good energy and good tempo, but I think it was a shock for them,” Cruce said. “They weren’t used to the fast tempo. You know we say shock and awe and the kids were really shocked and awed.”

It was the first of 10 spring practices permitted by the TSSAA. Cruce said the team will practice over the next couple of weeks and the spring session will culminate May 14 with an intrasquad scrimmage and alumni 7-on-7 game. That action will begin at 4 p.m.

“We want the alumni to know they are still part of our family,” Cruce said. “We want them to experience the new field.”

The day before Thursday’s first practice, Brighton’s players ran onto the field for the first time as a group and celebrated wildly as several people filmed the monumental moment.

“That was like the movie A Christmas Story when the kids ran downstairs to get their presents. They were so excited.” Cruce said. “You could tell there was a sense of pride because of what they got to be a part of.”

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland