Tritons ready to defend home turf

By | August 20, 2009

 

“Premontre was boys only and all we had was football,” he said. “We had four home football games a year and didn’t have soccer or lacrosse.

 

“One year, we had to put what they call pig chips across the field so we could play a soccer game in the spring because they (pig chips) soak up water,” added Flaten.

Poor weather is not a concern with the new surface. The turf was placed over layers of sand and stone.

“Come out here the first time you have a big rain,” said Bob Suvada of Sportexe, the company that produced and installed the synthetic turf. “It’s unbelievable. The water goes right through it.”

Durability is another strength of the turf, added Suvada.

‘This can be used for all the physical education classes and events in the evening,” he said. “It’s guaranteed for eight years. If there are any kinds of tears, we will repair them.”

The turf requires much less maintenance than a grass field. The surface needs to be swept once a week with a machine called a groomer. The field is lined in white for football, gold for soccer and black for lacrosse. The large “ND” in the center of the field and “Tritons” in the end zones were sewn in the turf.

The boys’ soccer team, the two-time defending WIAA Division 2 state champions, opened game action on the new turf. The Tritons held the annual alumni game on Aug. 18 and opened the season at home against Luxemburg-Casco on Aug. 20.

“It’s a lot faster,” said Coach Bob Rickards about how the field plays. “It’s a little bit truer so you are not going to get the unexpected bounces. We like it because we try to teach the kids to play to feet, to play on the ground, pass on the ground. For us, the faster it is the better it is.”

Ted Fritsch Field will be re-dedicated at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 prior to the football game between the Tritons and the Manitowoc Ships. The ceremony will include a ribbon cutting with the donors. Funding for the renovations came from individuals, the Green Bay Packers Foundation and local businesses.

“The support was really through a quiet campaign,” said Norbertine Fr. Dane Radecki, Notre Dame president. “We had a limited number of donors who recognized, after we had explained the needs, that this was going to be a great facility. We could expand the use for the greater community as well. We needed another practice field. You either go and buy homes and upset neighbors or invest in something like this.”

All Notre Dame students will receive an opportunity to see the new field at a pep assembly and blessing on Aug. 28. The football team opens play at home that evening versus De Pere.

Flaten has already seen the benefits of the synthetic turf.

“I came out here one night while it was raining and just watched it,” he said. “We no longer will have to pump water off the field so we can play.” 

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