West Fargo, Sheyenne High Schools Install Turf Fields

West Fargo's field was installed in early July, Sheyenne's is expected to be added in August

WEST FARGO, N.D. –There were plenty of big plays made on the West Fargo and Sheyenne high school football fields, but perhaps the biggest move came this summer with the installation of new artificial turfs

“Anytime you get something new, it’s like Christmas, you got a little gift and your excited to unwrap your present,” West Fargo high school football coach, Jay Gibson, said. “We have camp next week so we are going to be on it full time then but, I have been on a lot of turf fields – this is really a nice turf field.”

The Packers newest addition was put into place at the beginning of July.

The new field allows West Fargo athletes and coaches to get outside and start practicing earlier in the summer than they ever have before.

“The use that we already got out of it in the summertime with our kids coming out with our weight lifting camp and our football camps and our soccer camps,” West Fargo activities director, Jay DeCann, said. “Last year at this time it was grass and it was off limits. We rest it in the summer and no one gets on until the week before our first game. So it’s already been a game changer for us.”

The new digs also make it much easier to take the field when mother nature threatens to ruin the schedule.

“Last Wednesday we had about one hundred kids out here at about 6:30 in the morning after about three in a half or four inches of rain,” DeCann says. “And none of them had spikes on and no one slipping, the surface was completely dry.

“The snow is going to disappear at a more rapid pace and it’s going to dry quicker,” West Fargo secondary assistant superintendent added. “You are not going to have the frozen field so you are going to have the athletes be able to get out and condition on this turf at an earlier time.”

The project was more than two years in the making for West Fargo and Sheyenne alike. The Mustang’s field is expected to be installed the first week of august.

It was about a one million dollar installation for each artificial turf, but there are cost-saving benefits to the investment.

“We spent approximately anywhere from twenty to thirty thousand dollars a year just watering the fields so you definitely won’t have those costs,” Burgad said. “In addition, you had the chemical and the fertilizer that you had to put down on the green space on the actual grass.”

A decrease in maintenance cost and a more versatile and weather-protected field are certainly improvements that will give every student athlete the chance to be at their best.

“I think it is beautiful,” Burgad says. “We are very happy. It feels soft, we feel it will reduce injuries. The opportunity for our various sports to practice, whether that be in the fall or probably even more so in the spring.”

“To get out and find the green space to be able to stretch and run and prepare themselves for the competitive events.”