This is one in a series of posts showcasing the most outstanding high school football stadiums with artificial turf. Every field has its own story. See the full list Here.
Nobody calls Grisham Stadium-Maddox Track at Historic Trojan Field, nestled in the foothills of west Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains, by its longish full name. For decades, dating back to the 1981 opening of the facility — named after local football coaching legend Charlie Grisham, whose Carrollton High School teams went 261-69-13 over 29 seasons, and equally iconic track coach Hugh G. Maddox — it’s simply been known as “Grisham Stadium,” and it ranks high in polls among Georgia’s prep football fans as one of the toughest places in the state for visiting teams to play.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a better stadium,” boasts David Brooks, athletic director at Carrollton High and former offensive coordinator for the Trojans. “And our record here is pretty doggone good. We don’t lose much at home. We defend our turf pretty well.”
That turf is synthetic, and it was installed during a thorough $10 million renovation in 2008 that also included the addition of 1,400 chair-back seats for season-ticket holders (the stadium can hold up to 8,000 spectators, Brooks says), an updated visitors’ locker room, the Trojan Room for special events and an impressive press box. A sleek rubberized black track encompasses the field. Learn more on Carrollton High School’s surface Here.
The renovations coincided with the departure of the University of West Georgia’s football team, which shared the field with Carrollton High between 1981 and 2008, when the Wolves (formerly known as the Braves in the pre-Native American mascot controversy era) moved into their own stadium.
Sharing Grisham Stadium with the university no doubt contributed to the field’s rough wear and tear. “We never kept the grass we had,” Brooks says, recalling how the football field needed re-sodding every year. “We played on dirt more than we did on grass.”
Today, Grisham Stadium’s turf accommodates Carrollton’s varsity, junior varsity and middle school football programs, plus soccer and lacrosse teams, and recreation leagues.
High schools in Georgia have a built-in advantage when it comes to financing artificial turf fields: The state’s special-purpose local-option sales tax provides communities with the choice to levy a one-percent sales tax on taxable items and designate that revenue for construction of schools, parks, roads and related public facilities that will benefit residents. Grisham Stadium’s turf fell under the SPLOST category.