After installing new turf fields at each of its high schools, the Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Unified School District says it will no longer rent its fields out to local lacrosse teams.
The decision has not been well received by lacrosse teams in the area.
“We’re Pioneer Nation, right? We’re one nation. We just want to be treated like everybody else. Like I said, we’re not asking for any special treatment. The field’s empty. If nobody is using it, it’s a public facility, and we should be able to use an empty field when nobody else is using it,” Max Fleischman, head coach for Pinnacle Boys Lacrosse, told AZ Family.
Pinnacle Boys Lacrosse has been renting Pinnacle High School's football field for its games since the school opened in 2000. Now that grass field has been replaced with turf and the school is worried about wear and tear.
“It makes us wonder why? Especially when we feel we’re the exact same as Pinnacle. We’re just asking to be treated the exact same, as you know, fellow students and teammates,” said Cam Cont, Pinnacle Boys Lacrosse team captain.
Most of the the lacrosse team's players go to Pinnacle and live in the area, and Fleischmann spoke to turf company representatives who say that lacrose doesn't damage the turf any more than football.
PUSD released the following statement on the matter:
We recognize and appreciate the Pinnacle community’s interest and involvement with lacrosse and know that many Pinnacle students have enjoyed and benefited from participating in club sports that help bridge the connection between athletics, academics, and the community. Unfortunately, lacrosse is not a school sponsored sport and the club team is not connected with Pinnacle High School.
In PV Schools, fields are prioritized to support district recognized sports that are provided to our students. This club team has been provided access to the grass fields, and at times given preference over other organizations that also rent the grass fields at Pinnacle High School.
With recently installed turf fields at each of our high schools, a variety of factors are considered when renting field space. This includes availability and wear-and-tear on the field, among other variables, in order to preserve the investment we have made with taxpayer funding. Decisions on field rentals at Pinnacle High School are consistent with similar club sports that have requested the use of other district fields.