• Two men work on installing a turf football field at Brighton High School last week. Photo by Jeff Ireland

Anybody not in the know who drove by the football fields at Brighton, Covington and Munford high schools might recently have wondered why there was no grass on the field anymore.

Aggressive and industrious moles? No.

Construction got underway earlier this month on the installation of turf fields at all three schools.


The $5 million plan was announced last spring by Director of Schools Dr. John Combs.

“I’m excited for the kids,” Covington coach J.R. Kirby said. “Hopefully we can host some playoff games on it. How exciting will that be? You’ve watched our field get torn up while we were making some November (playoff) runs. We’ve played on some muddy fields. It’s going to be nice to not have to worry about that.”

The plan is to have turf installed in time for May high school graduations.

“When graduation is approaching, everybody is watching the weather,” Combs said. “With these fields it could rain 30 minutes before graduation and we could still go out there and have our graduation.”

Brighton’s field appears to have been started first, followed by Munford and Covington. Workers are moving to and from the three schools doing prep work this week. In other words, it appears as though all three field will be completed around the same time.

Many high schools in Memphis, Jackson and rural West Tennessee already have artificial turf fields. Milan, one of Covington’s biggest rivals, installed one last year.

“We buy cases and cases of paint a year,” Munford coach Slade Calhoun said. “It’s several thousands of dollars to paint the practice field and the game field. You’re talking about cutting costs way down … In the long run it’s a (financial) no-brainer.”

Added Kirby: “I can tell you the people here in Covington are freaking pumped about it. Very, very excited. It’s going to be something we can all be proud of. It’s going to make Friday nights even more special going forward.”

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland