Football fields in area looking good despite dry, drought conditionsMuch like farmers, area high school football coaches have been concerned about their fields this summer.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Much like farmers, area high school football coaches have been concerned about their fields this summer.
“I think the farmers were a little more worried than we were,” said Hanson coach Jim Haskamp, whose team plays Avon at 7 p.m. today in Alexandria.
Several coaches, like Haskamp, will have their team play its first home game of the year tonight. With the drought of the past few months, coaches and grounds crew members have had to put a little extra care into the football fields to keep them looking green for Friday night football games. Still, the fields are in good condition, coaches are saying.
“Our field is in great shape,” Haskamp said. “With the summer we had, it was definitely a concern. We had to get a little more water on it with the sprinklers than usual.”
Since July 1, Mitchell has received 3.92 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. Mitchell’s rainfall total is 5.63 inches below an average summer. Sioux Falls, Huron and Yankton are also all well below average rainfall amounts.
Chamberlain High School hosts Valentine, Neb., at 7 p.m. today. It’s the Cubs’ first home game of the year after winning 7-0 on the road in Hot Springs last week. Chamberlain coach John King said the field in town looks good, mainly because of the custodians’ work during the summer.
“We watered the field a lot in the evenings,” King said.
King said the top reason he sees for keeping a field in nice condition is prevention of injuries.
“You don’t want the ground to get too hard,” he said. “It’s tough on knees and can cause a lot of wear and tear on the body.”
Corsica/Stickney coach Jason Broughton said the field in Corsica looks nice. Tonight is Corsica’s homecoming, a 7 p.m. game against Menno. Broughton wouldn’t say how many extra gallons of water were pumped on his field over the summer to keep it looking nice, but he said it was plenty.
Broughton said the field in Corsica looks pretty good with only “a few brown spots around the edges.” He added that custodian Rod Bormann spent a lot of time over the summer on the field.
“I don’t think people know how much work our custodian has put in to help make our field look like it does,” Broughton said.
Broughton agreed injury prevention is the top reason to keep a field maintained, while Haskamp said he also likes to take pride in a well-kept field.
“Health reasons, safety reasons, sure — those are big in keeping your field nice,” Haskamp said. “But pride’s a big reason, too. When you have a nice facility, you don’t want to let it go down. It sure is a lot nicer playing on a fresh field.”