Midland ISD Seeing Increase in Injuries Due to the Drought

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9
MIDLAND - The devastating drought has affected everyone, even high school athletes. The Midland School District says the ground is so hard, they've seen an increase in the number of student injuries.
"Our outfields are completely dead. All of our football fields are dead and dusty, they're in pretty poor conditions. It's a very big concern for us," Todd Howey, Midland ISD Executive Director of Athletics, said.

Howey says this past year has been a rough one. The dry hard grounds have become a danger for their players.

"Obviously the ground is hard and in tackle football you are going to hit the ground. In this past year, we did see an increase in injuries," Howey said.

MISD says they have seen an increase injuries in all of their sports.

"Broken wrist, broken elbows, shoulders out of whack. We also saw a pretty big increase in concussions," Howey said.

This has made officials look at their facilities and evaluate what they are doing. Midland High has had to share their stadium with Midland Lee several times in order to give the teams a chance to practice on turf.

"We have shortened practices, our soccer teams are working out of Memorial Stadium which is not designed for soccer, but we have to because the grounds are so hard, it's a safety concern," Howey said.

Midland Lee is the one that is being affected the most, that is why they are trying to build their own turf field.

"They have an MISD facility that does have turf and we are trying to work to get our turf now. Especially under the conditions we are in with the watering situation," Midland Lee Head Football Coach, James Morton, said.

That is why the Midland Lee coaches are looking at building a new turf field for their teams. Their goal is to raise $800,000 to build a new field and they hope to get the money through the community.

"We have a good core of boosters and supporters here in Lee, they are very passionate about the Rebels and want to be involved. I'm actually developing a plan and going out in the community and meeting with people about that," Morton said.

MISD is also looking at adding water wells to some of their other facilities to help make the grounds safer.