HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) — On Friday night where thousands are out watching high school athletes on the gridiron, some of our tri-state high school fields have seen some changes with the addition of artificial turf.

More schools in our area will follow suit soon, but some critics nationwide say the move away from natural grass to turf is potentially risky.

Henderson County High School introduced turf this year, and Boonville High School is expecting to roll out its turf next year.

These changes come as the NFL Players Association says students that say non-contact injuries have grown over the last ten years on artificial surfaces versus grass.

Boonville Head Coach Darin Ward tells us despite the turf battle, high school athletics is not the NFL.

“I think the NFL is a whole different world there,” Ward said. “Our natural grass fields can’t compare to what they play on, or what they play on on college on their natural grass fields.”

Ward adds sports come with risks on any kind of surface the athletes use.

“Kids will be kids, you know, a lot of injuries — knock on wood,” Ward said. “There’s a risk with anything that you do whether you’re on a natural surface or synthetic surface. I don’t think that’s really going to be an issue with anything with the field.”

Henderson County Head Coach Josh Boston says his team hasn’t had any injuries on its new turf field in the first of many practices and games.

“We haven’t we haven’t had any experience with any injuries as far as calls the turf,” Boston said. “It’s been good to us and all of our games.”

Eyewitness News had the opportunity to speak with some of the Colonels. They say they will miss the grass field they had before, but they are pleased with the upgrade overall.

“As reciever, you make a lot of cuts, so there’s always that scare that you might tear your ACL or something — making a cut out here,” wide receiver Landon Gish said. “I loved our old grass. It was nice, but — getting turf — it was and upgrade. This is nice.”

“It’s a huge transition — mostly in the looks,” defensive lineman Tayler Baker said. “It looks a whole lot better, and we know the school board put a lot of money in the field and we’re very thankful for it.”