Jasper School Board Approves New Turf Field At Alumni Stadium; New Track Too

STADIUMJasper (NNDC) – The Greater Jasper Consolidate School Board gave its formal approval Monday night to the installation of a new artificial turf at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium.

The vote comes in time for the new turf to be in place for this fall’s football season.

The almost $872,000 price tag will be paid with a gift from a donor family according to school superintendent Dr. Tracy Lorey.  The family wishes to remain anonymous.

The field will be named after Joe Rohleder, the long-time Jasper football assistant coach and varsity wrestling coach.  Rohleder was an assistant under former head coach Jerry Brewer who led the Wildcats for 44 years; winning the 4A state championship in 2001..

Rohleder is an inductee of both the Indiana Football and Wrestling Halls of Fame.

Jasper will be the first member of the Big 8 Conference with an artificial turf home field.   Jasper also competes in the IHSAA Class 4A Sectional which does included several Evansville schools that do have turf fields.

JHS Athletic Director Andy Noblitt says the new field will be quite a benefit for the Wildcats football program.

He says, ” The new turf football field will allow our football program to practice and play everyday on the one of the finest synthetic surfaces in the entire
country.  No longer will weather play a factor in our ability to practice during the days leading up to our games.”

He went on to say, “In addition, the turf opens up the possibility of usage by our younger football players in the JMS football program and the Jasper Junior Football League.”

Monday’s vote of approval comes after several years of debate that included possible health concerns since the turf uses ground up rubber from recycled tires.  It will be installed by FieldTurf of Calhoun, Georgia.

The board also approved the resurfacing of the all-weather track around the field.  The price tag for it is $105,000 and it will be installed by Tennis Technology of Louisville.

Also Monday night, the Jasper school board approved the promotion of Ryan Erny to the position of principal at 5th Street Elementary School starting with the 2017-18 school year.  Erny replaces Leah Jessee, who is retiring after eight years as the school’s principal.

Erny, who is also Jasper High School’s girls varsity basketball head coach currently teaches 4th Grade at Ireland Elementary.  He’s been at Ireland for the last 17 years.  He plans to relinquish his coaching duties when he takes over at 5th Street.

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