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Two new fields coming to Jackson youth soccer complex thanks to Midwest Sterilization donation

A groundbreaking ceremony for two new fields was held at the Jackson Soccer Park on Friday, Nov. 18. Phase one of field grading on the project began that day. Photo by Jay Forness

The Jackson Area Organized Soccer Association (JAOSA) and the City of Jackson celebrated the start of construction earlier this month for two new soccer fields being added to the Jackson Soccer Park at 2275 S. Farmington Rd.

The two new fields are possible due to a $150,000 from Midwest Sterilization Corporation, which will pay for the new fields to be crowned to allow excess water to drain off the fields.

“Without Midwest Sterilization’s sizable donation and strong support from the community in our soccer program, none of this would be possible,” JAOSA President Tony Koeller said. “This is truly the beginning in helping us make this complex one that Jackson can be proud of.”

The new fields will be one 7v7 field and one small 11v11 field that can be broken down to two 9v9 fields. “We will be able to fit three age groups in this new area,” Koeller said.

Koeller said the new fields, located across the parking lot from the existing fields 10 and 11, will help the park be comparable to other youth soccer complexes in surrounding communities.

“When this soccer complex was built, it was built flat and it holds water,” Koeller said. “Anytime we get even an inch of rain, we are playing in standing water and mud puddles.”

Karen Eldridge, president of Midwest Sterilization, said the company began working with JAOSA and the City of Jackson around a year ago after they purchased the industrial building near the youth soccer complex.

“We purchased this building and we thought it would be great to partner with the Jackson fields right here,” Eldridge said. “We are all about kids getting outside in the fresh air, and we are really excited to do this.”

Koeller called Midwest Sterilization’s involvement in the project “a miracle sent to us.” He said that although the city is fully supportive of the organization, the city has limited funding for all park projects and this project could have never happened.

“Ultimately this is for the kids,” Koeller said. “This is the first step in a long process of being able to provide year-round ground fields that can be played on even if it does rain.”

Koeller said once fields 12 and 13 are completed, the other 11 fields in the park could be renovated to be crowned, irrigated and sodded properly.

“We are at max capacity now,” Koeller said. “I can’t shut down a field during the regular season because we’re constantly full, so giving us new fields like this allows us to shut down an existing field and fix them one at a time.”

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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