Weatherford Democrat

January 25, 2013

Turf, please... and hold the water


Weatherford Democrat

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By GREG WEBB

BROCK — Life for the  grounds keepers of the Brock baseball and softball fields — those keepers would be the coaches (and occasionally some players) — may get a tad less worrisome, this season. Grass seed, sprinklers and mower time allocated for the diamonds can be diverted to other pursuits.

But a few tools will have to remain at the ready. A wheel barrow, a shovel, a rake and a supply of fresh dirt.

“The only [natural] dirt on the field will be the pitcher’s mound,” said head baseball coach Chad Massey, speaking recently about the turf baseball and softball fields being constructed at Brock High School. “The softball field will have none at all.”

A layer of pea gravel away from laying down the turf on the baseball field, Massey is understandably pumped about the prospect of soon holding practices, and playing games, on the latest version of ‘artificial’ turf.

“The anticipation of a new  season is exciting in itself,” he said. “These new fields  add to the level of excitement, for the kids and the coaches, as well.

“We’ve had a decent field to play on before, but this will be as nice a facility as there is in the Metroplex.”

Maintenance of the new  fields will shift from seeding, watering (or not, in  drought situations) and multiple other processes to keep the playing surface as level as possible, to dragging the surface every couple of weeks to evenly distribute the field-turf beads. Maintaining the pitcher’s mound will be the only holdover from past methods, including a quick spray down to settle the dust.

“It’s going to be great that we will get to practice on it every [scheduled practice] day except for when it happens to be raining, or snow on the ground, at that time,” Massey said.

And aside from many other advantages to the turf, including a potential target as a playoff site for postseason teams looking for a neutral venue, the fields are in  the BHS’ back yard.

“Our kids won’t have to worry about rushing around  to drive [to another place] for practice,” Massy said. “They can walk out of class, walk to the locker room and walk onto the field.”