Phillip O. Berry Academy parents, students want a new football field

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Student athletes from Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology approached the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) board at its Tuesday night meeting. They told them they want a better football field.

The students claim their field is rough and needs attention. They say holes can be found on the field.

"By the end of the season there's about 20 or 30 yards in the middle of the football field that's sand," player Myles MacDonald said.

The student says the football field is so bad, some visiting players refuse to play on it.

"I have seen personally schools take out their best athletes so they don't risk them getting injuries," MacDonald said.

Parents say they have been fighting for about four years to get a new field. They claim their cries have fallen on deaf ears. They say there is a bad drainage problem so when it rains, there's nowhere for the water to go.

They also say there is a bad goose poop problem. Parents took pictures of crates and gym mats used to cover problems area on the field.

"At the point that it is now, it's embarrassing," Phillip O. Berry Academy Booster Club President Sharon Greene said.

CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox has toured the field several times. He heard the cries of students and parents and agreed with them as they approached the board.

"It was a bit uneasy for me," Wilcox said. "Because I know the conditions demand some action and we are going to take some."

The desire is for Phillip O. Berry Academy to get artificial turf on the field. Wilcox agrees that should happen. He says he will look for extra money in the budget to replace the football field.

"My message to Dr. Wilcox - I cannot sit and say you are not a man of your word," Greene said. "Again, I am hoping and praying, but right now as it stands there is a lot of lip service. Action speaks louder than words."

Wilcox says after the money is found, it could take at least a year to replace the field.

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