Duncan Athletics has rules in place to protect their facilities, but normal patrons may have noticed a change this past weekend when the track at Halliburton was locked up with no access.
Part of the reason the track was locked up was because of dead week, which was implemented by the OSSAA, but also there has been some usage that broke the rules and needed to be addressed.
Athletic Coordinator Bobby Cook said around the time of spring football the coaches noticed animals were getting on the field and leaving unwanted surprises that caused problems.
“What we were running into is, especially during spring football, that people were having animals defecate on the turf that are used by our kids who play on it,” Cook said. “We also had gum on there and things like that which have to be hand picked out, because obviously it is not grass, so you can’t mow it or cut it. We have also had little league teams going out there — which that is not necessarily a problem … as long as they don’t have metal spikes on of course.”
Cook said that Duncan Public Schools has always had a procedure in place, and going forward, they are wanting people to know that in order to gain access to the playing fields, they may need to fill out a form.
“We are just trying to limit involuntary traffic on the actual field itself, and along with dead week coming up, we have started to lock those gates,” Cook said. “It is probably — after the dead week — going to be reopened in hopes that the public is mindful, which they are, and I know they are, but in helping us take care of the turf itself.”
The turf at Duncan’s Halliburton Field was installed right before the 2017 season through donations from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, private donors and administration at Duncan Public Schools.
While the timing of dead week and the new locks confused people who went for their normal walks at Halliburton Field, Cook said the intention is to open it back up, but he is wanting people to take care of the turf and follow the rules.
“We want the track to be open for the public, and we are going to transition back to that in hopes that our turf will be taken care of,” Cook said. “At no point do we ever want to limit any of our youth leagues or our public, because we want to be transparent and as helpful to the general public as we possibly can. With that being said, I would sure hope that people will understand that we have to be mindful of what we have.”
Any Duncan Public Schools Athletic facilities can be used by the public but in order to gain access to the playing fields, they must fill out a form with the Duncan High School office.
Summer hours for the high school are 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, though it will be closed this Thursday for the Fourth of July holiday.