Somerset Academy Canyons football combats heat with new synthetic turf field

By Alex Kushel

Sun Sentinel Correspondent

Aug 26, 2021 3:49 PM

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The Somerset Academy Canyons football team will kick off the 2021 season under the lights in September and feature a new synthetic turf field at the school.

The Somerset Academy Canyons football team will kick off the 2021 season under the lights in September and feature a new synthetic turf field at the school. (Somerset Academy Canyons/Courtesy)

The Somerset Academy Canyons football team in Boynton Beach will have the opportunity to enjoy a new synthetic turf field for the first time in school history while also playing night games under the lights during the 2021 season.

Somerset Academy Canyons held summer conditioning and speed training, 7-on-7 and practices on the new field in preparation for the season. The synthetic turf features the TºCool evaporative cooling technology, which reduces field temperature and combats extreme heat.

“We have been able to use the new field all summer and it’s been exciting and great,” said Alex Gonzalez, who is in his first season as head coach at Somerset Academy Canyons. “It helped us when it rained and we did not have to worry as much about the field. The kids love it and we are really blessed.”

The Somerset Academy Canyons football team's new synthetic turf field is ready for action.

The Somerset Academy Canyons football team’s new synthetic turf field is ready for action. (Somerset Academy Canyons/Courtesy)

Gonzalez has previously served as the offensive line coach at the school since 2017. The Cougars finished 3-2 during the 2020 shortened season, which marked the school’s first winning season in school history.

“We want to continue to grow and develop and be in a position to win games,” Gonzalez said. “We have seniors who have developed their game over the last few years. We have veterans on the offensive and defensive line who have played together and that should be a strength. We have a talented group of receivers. We open up the season playing really good opponents.”

The Cougars are led by senior quarterback Benson Barnes, who had a standout performance against Jupiter Christian during the Kickoff Classic on Aug. 21. Barnes accounted for six total touchdowns, which included four rushing and two passing scores.

Somerset Academy Canyons will host The King's Academy on September 3 in the season opener at 7 p.m.

Somerset Academy Canyons will host The King’s Academy on September 3 in the season opener at 7 p.m. (Somerset Academy Canyons/Courtesy)

“Benson has put in the work all offseason and throughout the summer and he has trusted the process,” Gonzalez said. “He is a three-year starter at quarterback and he has a chip on his shoulder. He is taking his game to a higher level.”

The Cougars offense is also led by senior fullback and tight end Chris DiLeo, junior running back David Duong, senior wide receiver Nicholas Consalvo and freshman wide receiver Waden Charles.

The offensive and defensive lines are anchored by senior Nathan Stracke and junior Ty Robbins. DiLeo has made an impact at linebacker and the defense also is led by sophomore linebacker Jadon Goldman and junior safety Parker Sellman.

The Cougars finished 3-2 during the 2020 shortened season, which marked the school’s first winning season in school history.

The Cougars finished 3-2 during the 2020 shortened season, which marked the school’s first winning season in school history. (Somerset Academy Canyons/Courtesy)

Somerset Academy Canyons will host The King’s Academy on Sept. 3 in the season opener at 7 p.m. It will host only night games during the 2021 campaign with the installation of lights. They had played home contests during the afternoon in previous seasons.

“It’s cooler at night and we will attract more fans to the games,” Gonzalez said. “The atmosphere is great under the lights and the students around campus are excited.”

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