The new artificial turf field at Carey Stadium might be getting all the attention, but a new sod field to be used for practices helps provide the “nitty gritty” of a winning sports program.“Any time the city can afford it to upgrade facilities to help the kids at the high school and the people of our community, we are happy to do it,” Director of Community Services Mike Allegretto said.The new sod field replaces an old grass surface which had clearly seen better days. It is located behind the home stands and next to the basketball courts inside the Carey Stadium grounds.“We can’t add space in Ocean City or simply move the kids over to a different field as they can do at some of the off-shore schools,” Allegretto said. “We have to take special care of the space that we do have.”Unlike the sod of old which took weeks to take hold and become useable, today’s technology is improved to the point that it takes less than a week, Allegretto said.“It was ready to go four or five days after laying it down,” he added.Allegretto said that an added benefit of the upgraded field was to attract more students to participate in sports and recreational facilities held there.“You are hopefully going to get more kids to come out because the facilities are better,” he said.It also goes hand in hand with the new artificial turf.“You can’t have (athletes) going from (a brand new artificial turf field) to practice on (beat up sod). We want to give our kids the best chance to succeed. You also have to keep safety in mind.“Playing on artificial turf helps prepare them for playoffs and championships because many of those games are now played on artificial turf. Our kids will be used to playing on it and will not have to make much of an adjustment,” Allegretto remarked.