The Turf Field: A Reflection of Resiliency of the Field and What it Means to be a Community

I remember the first time I saw the field at Holy Child. I was in 4th grade, arriving late to my first game of a lacrosse tournament. As my mom pulled into the parking lot of the field, I scrambled to gather my gear in the back seat, oblivious to the beautiful landscape around me that my mom pointed out before she came to a stop. She opened the trunk, and I dashed out of the car and towards the field.

Before I stepped foot onto the field, however, I stopped in awe. I was taken back by the beautiful green color of the turf that sat before me. An abundance of blue and gold appeared in the center of the field in a tiger paw print. It was an incredible sight I couldn’t get over. The first whistle had blown. I was late to the game.

Ever since I experienced that feeling of walking onto the field for the first time, I knew that Holy Child would someday be my home. Nine years later, the feeling remains just as strong every time I step onto the field – a feeling I’ve been lucky enough to experience countless times over the last four years as a Holy Child Tiger.

Throughout the seven seasons of lacrosse and field hockey, and the three Blue/Gold games, every time I step on to the turf, that feeling is amplified, as a true member of the Holy Child community, a true Tiger. Not only do I get the same excitement when looking at the beauty of the field, but I’ve also come to realize its power to unify the community.

The Holy Child field is not just for athletes. It’s where our friends, parents, brothers  and sisters, teachers, and coaches are brought together to celebrate the spirit of competition. On the field, we watch students become outstanding athletes as they fight to outrun an opponent to the ball. On the sidelines, classmates cheer at the top of their lungs for their best friends. In the stands, teachers and families proudly watch as students play the sport they love. The field gives a sense of belonging to everyone in the Holy Child community, because it’s where hard work and dedication, and love and passion for the school are poured out.

On July 8th, my mom told me that the field had been flooded by storms, and that it was ruined and would not be able to be used for a while. The next time I was at school, I stood in front of the field, and struggled to feel those feelings I had experienced for so long. The vibrant blues and y ellows of the tiger print faded under puddles of murky water. The beautiful green turf was ripped and folding. All I could think about were the memories that the field created for so many of us, and how I might never get to relive them ever again. The field is a major part of who we are as Tigers, and I worried that our identity would fade.

However, the same way that the Holy Child community united on the field, everyone came together and raised enough money to build a brand new turf field for the spring sports season. Because of the generosity of the donors, we can once again experience everything we felt that very first time we laid eyes on the field.

The installation of a new turf comes the remembrance of memories made on our old field and the opportunity to become part of a new chapter in the Holy Child community with the Hanley Field. Someday, I hope another little 4th grade girl will see the new field and be just as amazed as I was nine years ago.


Written by: Lilly Kannapell '20

Hear about the Turf Field below.

Turf Field Rehabilitation & Enhancements

Our campus incurred significant damage as a result of the torrential rain storm on Monday, July 8th - specifically the lower level of the main building (where our renovations were completed just last summer) and the turf field, which was rendered unusable. Once we were able to assess the damage, the Holy Child Development Office quickly pulled together a campaign to raise funds to ensure that our students would be able to play on a field during the 2019 – 2020 school year. Over an eight week period, the campaign raised $472,000.

On November 20, 2019, we broke ground on a new turf field. Over a six week period, our team was able to:

  • Cut up and remove the old turf field
  • Remove stadium padding
  • Paint the scoreboard area
  • Trim trees surrounding the turf field
  • Install a 20’ tall fence to prevent balls from entering the conservation area
  • Install new stadium padding
  • Install the turf field with new organic infill and updated logos
  • Create a new dugout area for softball with fencing and new benches
  • Purchase and build new field benches and soccer goals
  • Improve drainage at the field perimeter
  • Create concept drawings for phase two of the turf project including sidewalk replacements, a new field entry, and a spectator viewing area


THANK YOU to our Turf Field Rehab & Enhancement Parent Committee Members

Mike Lentz P’24, Chair

Roy Austin P’25

Adelaide Barrett P’25

Sina Farzin P‘21, ’23

Danny & Susan Hanley P’18, ’20, ’22

Bill Knight P’23

John Phillips P’22

Phil Sahady P’23

Tripp & Cathyann Shreves P’22

Claire Slabaugh P’21

Introducing: HANLEY FIELD

“It is with sincere pleasure, Danny [Hanley, P '18, '20, '22] & I commit to support the complete renovation of the turf ... we BELIEVE our ACTIONS and support for Holy Child will help unite the community around this initiative.”

– Shannon Hanley, ’86


Holy Child is proud to be one of the only local high schools in the DC metro area to have a BrockFILL turf – an engineered wood particle infill specifically designed for artificial surfaces. Made in the USA, BrockFILL is constructed from a species of southern pine that is grown, harvested, and replanted in continuous cycles, making it ideal for a sustainable, renewable organic infill product. BrockFILL will allow our turf field to be approximately 20 degrees cooler than our old artificial turf. Additionally, BrockFILL’s shock padding reduces risk of injuries.


Holy Child received a GMAX test report (the current standard measurement for the "safety" of a playing surface) confirming the impact measurements of our turf field averaged 120, which is a perfect score and better than the NFL and Synthetic Turf Council safety limit of 165. After the damage, Holy Child's old field was tested and had an average of 174. We have thus improved the safety for Holy Child students with the new field.