End debate and build the field


To the Editor: 

Hi, my name is Charlotte Packer, and I am currently a freshman at UNH, though I was once a three-season athlete for MVRHS. Being on a team meant the world to me, it gave me an outlet and break from the academics of school, it gave me lifelong friends, and taught me more than I could ever explain.

However, the debate has been going on for years, as students such as myself pass by. In fact, I remember being in seventh grade at the Tisbury School and writing a debate for history class over whether the Island should get a turf field or not. Even back then I supported it. That was what, six, seven years ago, and it seems like we have made little progress.

Frankly, I am tired of waiting for the “adults” to make this decision, all while acting like children. Calling each other names and blatantly denying what is right in front of them. I suppose this is what town politics are, elected officials pushing their personal agendas while leaving the rest of us to argue over the blurred lines they have created. I personally have spent many, many hours out on those fields, and while a lot of work goes into maintaining them, it is clear it will never be enough. This is not just my personal opinion, but it is very clearly seen each year come fall or spring, and has been proven by people much more credible than myself.

So please take a moment to rationally think about what has been said on this topic. The science backs it, no matter how much one wishes to deny it. and, if you want a safe surface for our students to play on, there needs to be a way to take the strain off the grass fields. If there’s a better option, please share, but I doubt there is. I urge you to please stop with the nonsense, and hearing only what you want to hear. And take a moment to think about how important athletics are to children, not all of them, but I know for myself, if I didn’t have my teammates or practice to go to every day, I can say with some certainty I would not have made it through high school.

Forget about who supports what side, and please please just think about the students and what an amazing opportunity this is for them. Not to mention our track team, which has been patiently waiting since 2012 for a safe track that they can be proud of. I was on the track team, I watched the track slowly fall apart. This needs to pass not only for our athletic teams, like football or my personal favorite, field hockey, but also for our track team, which continuously gets dealt a bad hand, and somehow still goes on and wins.

Now, high school students tend to forget about town politics or high school dilemmas once they graduate, in our case leaving behind their desire for a turf field. Luckily for all of you, or maybe not so lucky, I am not one of those students. I would have loved the opportunity to play on a turf field. And personally, I cannot wait to see a future field hockey player absolutely tearing it up on our new turf field. I can’t wait to finally see a home track meet where our athletes get to show off how much work they put in, on a track that is safe and allows school pride to shine. I believe our students, our athletes, and our community deserve this.

Can we please stop acting like Congress and just pass what we all know should have been passed a long time ago? Enough is enough.

I would like to briefly thank all of you who are still showing up and are fighting so diligently for this; please do not back down.


Charlotte Packer

Vineyard haven