Around a year and a half ago, work began to improve six high school football fields in Horry County. The Horry County school board spent more than $867,000 to improve the different fields.
More than $94,000 went towards St. James High School to make improvements including work on the draining system.
But on Friday, at their home game, the high school football players were covered in mud.
“It was the whole field because it kept raining and raining Monday throughout the week,” said Cole Gallagher, offensive guard for the St. James Varsity football team.
Gallagher explained the rain also caused them to move practices indoors. He said they’ve been watching more film to help prepare and the football team is doing the best to adjust to the rain conditions.
“You don’t really see any live action out there in the practice field, you don’t really know what it’s going to feel like during the game but if we prepare well enough in the gym it kind of cancels that out,” said Gallagher.
Robby Brown, head football coach at St. James High School, said the it’s the amount of rain that is causing the problems for the field. And he said the upgrades have improved the conditions of the football field overall.
“There is no drainage system that is going to hold,” said Brown.
Teal Britton, Horry County Schools spokesperson, agrees and she said the only real fix is to install artificial turf, which is extremely expensive and rare for high schools.
Britton said Myrtle Beach High School is the only school with a turf field. That’s because the City of Myrtle Beach helped pay for it. The city’s assistant manger tells news13 the city contributed one million dollars for the upgrade.
“We just try to do the best we can and try to reschedule it for the kids and put the safety and the fields first and the kid’s safety comes first,” said Brown.
The next football game scheduled for St. James High School on campus is on Thursday.