Fargo Davies High School breaks ground on artificial turf field
They found that the ground was a little hard as the shovels refused to penetrate the surface. They really had to put some elbow grease in their trench to actually break the ground – just another example of the importance of having artificial turf for outdoor activities in North Dakota.
Fortunately, they’ll be getting help from excavators and bulldozers starting next week when construction officially begins.
“This is Davies lawn,” said Eagles soccer coach Wayne Werremeyer about the tough field. “I asked Troy (Cody) (headmaster of Davies High School) if he stopped watering this thing two years ago to make this floor nice and hard. There are many memories in this field, but the conditions – the field conditions are not ideal. “
Fargo Davies is installing a turf field this summer, shown in a photo illustration. Submitted illustration
These less than ideal conditions are now a thing of the past. Hellas Construction will begin the installation process on the Matrix Helix Turf field next Monday, May 17th. The installation is expected to be completed by the end of July and a ribbon cutting event will be held in August.
Once Davies man-made surface is completed, every public high school in Fargo and West Fargo will have a turf field. Shanley was the first Fargo school to install one in 2009, with the rest to follow. The final lawned schools on Fargo-Moorhead Underground are Fargo Oak Grove, Moorhead Park Christian and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.
With Jamestown adding a turf field again this summer, every school in Grade A in North Dakota will have turf by the fall football season.
“It’s great, not just for the football program, but for every sports program out here,” said Werremeyer. “Whether it’s baseball that uses it in the spring, or soccer, soccer, the track can come out of here and walk on it if the track still has snow. The amount of work that people do is just amazing. “
The parents of Davies High School recognized the need for a new lawn for the soccer field and set out to raise the money. In 2018 they founded the Davies Turf Committee.
Since Davies opened in 2011, the school doesn’t have as deep an alumni base as other schools in the region. And the alumni it has are still young and either still students or young professionals.
“I called an alumnus once and they said to me, ‘TC, we love Davies, we loved the experience we had, but when I have $ 50 I’ll either spend it at Starbucks or help pay off my student loans, ”said Cody. “The other schools in town, congratulations to them, but they have a slightly larger alumni base.”
The artificial turf field is a more durable and weather resistant surface than a standard turf field. Even in rain or snow, the athletes can be sure that they will not slide around in the mud. Davies had to move several soccer games to other stadiums with turf fields to protect the pitch from damage.
Spring athletes, especially the girls’ soccer team, can go to the field earlier in the spring. If they’re usually stuck in the gym at the beginning of the season due to muddy conditions, they can head to the grass field to practice. They don’t have to play their games so hard on a field that shovels have a hard time piercing the dirt.
And the other spring sports like baseball and softball will be able to move their practice to the grass field instead of the high school parking lot as they have done in the past.
“We’ve really fought for the past three years, we’ve fought Mother Nature out here,” said Davies Activity Director Lenny Ohlhauser. “You look back at autumn, you have soccer and you have boys’ soccer. On a rainy day you come out and have a soccer game on a sloppy field and you are pretty much done with the field. You will not get any growth in the fall.
“We were fortunate to have Shanley down here to help us before South (high school) and North (high school) had their fields to use. Thanks to Shanley for helping us out when we had to postpone games. “