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By Steve Breazeale
When the San Clemente High School football team took the field the morning of July 10, they were greeted by a brilliant, newly finished turf surface. The Tritons spent the morning running conditioning drills on the state-of-the-art two-tone green field with red and white trim, which was completed over the weekend.
The old turf at Thalassa Stadium had been in place for 12 years and was the first turf surface installed at an Orange County high school, according to Triton head coach Jaime Ortiz. At the end of the 2017 school year, construction began on tearing the old turf up and replacing it. The cost to replace the field was approximately $1 million, according to the Capistrano Unified School District.
Ortiz said there was a noticeable energy at the start of Monday’s practice before his players stepped on the field for the first time.
“The kids were excited. It’s great to continue to raise the bar and have the best facilities around,” Ortiz said. “The new turf going down is a sign of some big things happening here, not just for the football program but for all of the sports to enjoy.”
The turf was installed with new padding underneath, and is made up of brand-new rubber. In the past, recycled rubber was used to create turf fields.
The Tritons signature red and black color scheme is prevalent throughout the design. Both end zones have been painted black and the words “San Clemente” and “Tritons” adorn the east and west end zones, respectively. The school’s Triton “T” is emblazoned on the 50-yard line.