Roy Anderson Field: An Epicenter for Disease

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Daniel Fendel

Daniel Fendel investigates problems associated with Peninsula's field, Roy Anderson.

Daniel Fendel, Reporter

Roy Anderson is a prominent turf field, well-known and well-used in the town of Gig Harbor. A shared field with Peninsula High School and Gig Harbor High School, it’s used extensively during the fall. Over the course of the school year, there are less than three months the field is not put to use by any school sports.

The field may be put to good use, but it is not necessarily the most pristine field a high school athlete will encounter.

“It is a very old field and very, very, dirty,” said Webb Sommer, the athletic trainer for Peninsula High School. Because Roy Anderson is so dirty, any untreated injuries or wounds made on the field can lead to athletes being susceptible to diseases.

Only a few know of the increased risk of injury and a chance of getting a disease. MRSA is one such disease that athletes of Roy Anderson can contract. Caused by a bacterium,MRSA usually cause boils or sores on the skin, and in some cases, the sores can be life-threatening.

Shelby Bottiger is a Peninsula High School senior athlete who was tremendously affected by the uncleanliness of the field. Bottiger got MRSA from Roy Anderson Field when she was a freshman playing soccer for the school.

“I was constantly playing on the field, shoving, punching, kicking each other, just playing good old soccer, and then I got a cut and got MRSA,” said Bottiger.

Student athletes who play on the field should always be aware of the injuries and diseases they can get from the field, and know how to deal with them.

“Athletes should never have a open wound on Roy Anderson Field. If they do get one from the field, it should be cleaned and taken care of immediately. If not, the athlete has a chance of getting MRSA, it’s just that easy,” said Peninsula High School’s nurse, Michelle Wood.

Roy Anderson is so old that on the hash marks on the field are holes from constantly being used, the field itself loses more and more cushion from the turf every year.

“That field is almost always put to use, causing the turf to lose a lot of its cushion. So it’s like playing on concrete and it really increases the chances of concussions and other injuries,”  said Wood. If concussions aren’t dealt with properly, post-concussion syndrome can occur.

Roy Anderson may not be the first choice of a field for high school athletes in the town of Gig Harbor, but it is the only option PHS and GHHS currently have. Therefore, athletes need to remember to protect themselves from the potential consequences of utilizing the archaic field: Wear a helmet to avoid concussions and properly clean cuts to decrease the risk of MRSA and other infections.