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Fake grass gets toehold in Oregon

    Oregon might be the natural grass capital of the planet, but its high schools are in an athletic arms race to add artificial turf.

    In 1999, Jesuit High was one of the first Oregon high schools to take the synthetic plunge. By last fall, the final 16 teams in the 6A football playoffs included 11 with artificial turf fields for football and soccer; one school that is building a field now; and at least two that are working like mad to get one, at up to $900,000 a pop.

    Baseball is following suit: Jesuit installed an artificial turf diamond this season, this time behind schools such as Wilsonville, Tigard and West Linn. The Oregon State Beavers, last year’s NCAA national champs, went artificial in the infield this season.

     – Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 12, 2007


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