Soccer field facelift nearing completion |

Soccer field facelift nearing completion

by Joey Crandall

Thanks to a hardy group of volunteers, and some timely donations from local businesses, the soccer field at Douglas High School has received a sizeable upgrade this summer.

Already, the actual field – which has suffered drainage problems for many years – has been given a special treatment designed for golf courses which will eliminate such problems in the future.

The run-down cargo container on the west side of the field has been cleaned, refurbished and converted into a locker room. New goal cages have been assembled and the storage shed on the east side of the field has been overhauled and converted into a concession stand.

In the last week, a large concrete pad was installed on the east side to support a new set of bleachers which have already been delivered and are awaiting assembly.

“Ultimately, it represents the pride we have in our Douglas soccer program, that we provide a better field for the players and a better facility for the fans and family to enjoy watching it,” Douglas girls’ soccer coach Lorraine Fitzhugh said. “A heartfelt thanks goes out to all who have given their time and expertise to these projects.”

The initial project – the new bleachers – was set in motion by an anonymous private donation of $12,000 last year.

As the soccer program began to outline its desired improvements, additional financial support came in from the Douglas High School All-Sports Boosters and other private parties.

Fitzhugh hosted an organizational meeting in June to orchestrate the list of improvements and was overwhelmed by the response.

“Everyone has just been go-getters about this,” Fitzhugh said. “There hasn’t been one massive project to work on. It’s been a lot of little things here and there that are going to make a huge difference for our program.”

The locker room and concession stand have included the bulk of the carpentry work. A pair of windows and a door have been installed in the cargo container, along with carpet, benches with storage space and shelves. The entire unit has been painted as well.

The concession stand has been given a new roof, along with a new window that opens out to the field with a shelf.

The field itself will move several yards to the west to accommodate a new pathway to the bleachers.

Treatment of the playing surface was proposed by Douglas High facilities manager Ryan Haskins.

“He went to a conference and learned about this golf course treatment,” Fitzhugh said. “We’ve always had issues where the grass is fine, everything is perfect, until the temperatures get into the 90s. Then things would just deteriorate. Because of the drainage, it couldn’t be mowed low and we’d run into trouble in the same place.

“This treatment, they brought in tractors with these tynes about three-quarters of an inch in diameter and plunge down in the ground about eight inches. It creates openings for the water to go to. Our sprinkler system is in really good shape, we just needed a little extra boost.

“We’re hoping the playing conditions improve a lot.”

Fitzhugh said the program especially wanted to thank the businesses that have contributed to the project, including Silver State Roofing, Ramco Fabrication, Reliance Parts Corp., Ahern Rentals, Home Depot, Sherman Williams, BW Builder’s Wholesale, Summit Carpet, Lowe’s, Mac Signs, Meeks and REP Plumbing.

The field will get its first official test next week with the Douglas Ladies Alumni Soccer Game set for Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Anyone interested in playin can contact Jenny Jaggard at