DALLAS – About another six weeks to go for the turf installation to be completed and Dallas High School’s football field will be ready to see some action.
The project, which was spearheaded by the Dallas Booster Club in the late spring of 2016 and officially began June 11, 2018, has been smooth sailing so far.
DHS athletic director Tim Larson said that in the beginning stages of it, everyone felt dubious about the project as they began to tear the field up.
“How is this really gonna go?”
Larson said he would ask himself that numerous times. “What hiccups are we gonna have that completely derail us?”
They have had none (knock on wood). And even better, the community has stepped up in ways Larson didn’t foresee.
“We had people donating trucks, drivers, fuel trucks. The city, the county, private people left and right — hey we got trucks today,’” Larson said. “That’s what been amazing about this whole thing. The guys who did the curb: free. And most of equipment used for this project has all been donated.”
Dallas Booster Club comes by the site every day to make sure everyone working has water and Gatorade stocked up.
Stephanie Earhart, Dallas Booster Club president, said she is thankful to everyone who has stepped in to help this project come to fruition.
“This summer, when we finally broke ground, the small army of in-kind donors sprang into action,” Earhart said. “Matt Posey (Kizer Excavating), Tod Brostrom (TodCo Logging), Greg Locke (Locke Engineers) and Bill McNutt have spent countless hours at the field ensuring that everything has fallen into place as planned. We would not be nearing the completion of this project without the support of these in-kind donors and this community, and we can’t adequately express our gratitude to everyone involved.”
As football season quickly approaches, the Dragons football team is looking forward to having a new, stable surface to play on this fall.
“We are extremely excited to have such a great playing surface,” head football coach Andy Jackson said. “It will help the productivity of our practices so much. It will improve the speed we see everyday and prepare us for games much better.”
Having a new turf installed opens up opportunities not just for DHS but for the community as well.
“This project may have been initiated with football in mind, but it really is for the community,” Earhart said.
Already, there are different organizations including Dallas Methodist and Kids, Inc. who have already secured times/days that they can have access to the field, Larson said.
In addition, DHS football and soccer teams can use the field without having to worry about it turning into a mud pit.
“By having a surface that’s true, we don’t have to worry about mud, we don’t have to worry about rain and traction and all that stuff,” Larson said.
All that’s left to do for the project is to finish leveling the field, then rolling out the turf, which will take about three weeks in total. Drains have been placed in each of the D zones, which will help alleviate the mud pit that occurs when it rains.
Overall, the Dallas Booster Club was able to raise $847,787, including about $177,000 in in-kind donations, such as trucking, materials, other heavy equipment, Earhart said.
Thirty thousand of that was in cans and bottle donations.
The response to this project was “overwhelming and truly humbling,” Earhart said.
The Dragons first home football game is October 5.