I am writing to say a big thank you to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) for approving the synthetic turf field project for the high school athletic field. I know this was a long, tedious, and intensive process with emotions running high on both sides of the debate. I am glad the MVC considered the facts and was able to remove emotions in their decision-making.

I never tried to hide my stance on this project. Since 1988, with the exception of two years, I have coached teams on the game field. I witnessed every attempt during those years to repair and prepare the game field for the abuse it would receive during the fall and spring seasons. All of those attempts failed, resulting in the poor surface and conditions for our athletes, visiting athletes, and officials.

The way I saw this, the MVC had three options:

1. In order to not violate Title IX, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer, football, girls lacrosse, boys lacrosse, and track would have to have their own practice field and game field. Each game field would need lights, bleachers, scoreboard and a press box, if required. This was not a viable option for numerous reasons.

2. Reduce the number of teams or terminate sports from the above list. This too was not a viable option.

3. Install an organic filled, synthetic turf field that would service all of the above mentioned sports. This was the only viable solution.

For all the MVC members that voted to approve this project, thank you for your commitment to our athletes, school and community. This project will provide our Island with a first-rate facility, one the entire Island will be able to point to with pride.

Donald Herman

Oak Bluffs