The grass isn’t greener at John Schwab Field

By Deb Murphy

The Bishop Broncos’ football field has seen better days, much better days. Tufts of green are broken up by expanses of brown or no tufts at all. Part of the recovery program is rest, according to district Superintendent Barry Simpson.

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Simpson reported on the sad state, bordering on unsafe, of John Schwab Field at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “We knew we had to rest the field,” he said. That was part of the reason why the district partnered to build additional fields at City Park.

Complete resurfacing is cost prohibitive, Simpson reported. Plus the $1-$1.5 million project would have to be repeated every 12 to 15 years.

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Simpson brought in landscapers to walk the field. The conclusion: the district needs to hire a water auditor to look at the irrigation system, from the sprinkler heads to the pumps to the coverage of the existing system. Step two: rebuild the irrigation system, then reseed and rebuild the field


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8 Responses to The grass isn’t greener at John Schwab Field

  1. Eastside Bum March 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

    How about an artificial field similar to the one by the Mono County animal shelter at Mammoth? I think the price tag was close to 1/2 million and included a running track.

    • Desert Tortoise March 16, 2015 at 6:19 am #

      Price fake grass sometime. You have to do some very expensive preparation beneath before laying fake grass. I considered it for a rental unit I own. Sod is about $2.00 per square foot installed. Fake grass, good stuff that looks like the read thing, is about $22.00 per square foot. It takes a very long time to make up the difference from the savings on water, especially if you have other things like faucets and toilets that consume water and force you to pay for a metered hook up to the water utility.

  2. Clint March 15, 2015 at 11:59 am #


    I’m all for improving the field, but unsafe?? Barry, you need to go check out the Trona field. They play on dirt and rocks. Their really is no need to over dramatize this.

    Considering our current water issues, I’m all for fake grass if one can be found that will survive our environment. Maybe you can lobby to be a test field for some of the artificial grass manufactures…

    • Desert Tortoise March 16, 2015 at 6:23 am #

      Trona is tough! I am surprised some of their opponents don’t simply tell the Trona team to take the win and call it a day when they see that field they play on. I think by the time the bus passed the Westend plant I’d be ready to give Trona the victory and go home. Bleak.

  3. Soccermom March 16, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Clint, I’m not sure if you have athletes playing on this field, but last year in girls soccer alone we had several injuries that could be attributed to the field. This field is uneven and has several holes and spots that could create injuries for players and referees. More unfortunately this field has been not maintained properly over the years creating more problems. I know its easy to say that Barry is being dramatic, but in this case this field is unsafe and needs to be fixed.

    • Clint March 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm #


      I’ve played on it, as well as both of my children.

      The world isn’t flat, strait and perfect.. Those that adapt, do well.

      Again, have them play on the Trona field ( yes, we have) they will beg for the Bishop grass.

      I’m not debating improving the field, but their wasn’t any need for the drama.

  4. Correction March 17, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    To Eastside Bum
    The field at Whitmore was more in the neighborhood of 2 million once all the bills were paid

  5. chris March 20, 2015 at 5:27 am #

    The field has never looked this bad. I don’t think it is dramatic to say unsafe. Especially for our girls soccer program due to being in a larger risk population for ACL injury. It’s uneven, prone to ankle sprains. At least Trona has a level field. Our basketball gym looks great, our baseball field is beautiful. It’s time to rehab John Scwab field. All it would take is a bunch of us community members to go out rehab, reseed, and then have the school put a large fence around it to keep people off while they water it and feed will grow strong. It needs rest and rehab. Baseball got together and did a lot of work with community support. I’m in,anyone else???? Let’s just go out there and get it done.


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