Rain and rock delays have been the main obstacles for the new turf system being put into place at O'Dell Field this summer. When visiting with Koln Knight, superintendent of Cushing Public Schools, a few days ago, Mr. Knight stated " what is holding us up at the moment is rock". Workers were still waiting on loads of rock to arrive to finish out the bottom layer of fill around the drains, for the new playing surface. However Mr. Knight added, "the projected completion date is July 10th". Even with a few other construction delays, there should be plenty of time to complete the surface.
There will be 3rd layer of rock that make up the base for the turf. There is a smaller pea gravel that will go on top of these first two layers. Then the actual turf surface can be put into place.
The type or brand of turf is a new technology from FieldTurf, a manufacturer that has created a way to keep the playing surface cooler than other artificial playing surfaces. It is call Cool Play. FieldTurf claims that this helps keep the suirface up to 35 degrees cooler than average playing surfaces in the direct sunlight. Cushing is one of three fields in Oklahoma to acquire this type of playing surface.
The FieldTurf website also says this about the playing surface.
"CoolPlay wasn't developed just to be cool. In designing the system, we ran a multitude of test with one goal in mind: cooler surfaces with no compromise to the safety and performance of our fields.
- Crumb rubber as a top layer absorbs heat, causing the surface temperature to rise.
- An all-sand system may be cool, but the surface would be far too hard.
- Our organic and sand system is also cooler, but only CoolPlay offers a surface with ideal safety and performance.
Testing finally led us to the special ECC top dressing that could replace the top layer of crumb rubber on our patented three-layer infill system - which is proven to offer better performance and safety in over 4,500 fields around the world.
The ECC granule is durable, shock absorbing and absorbs far less heat than other alternatives." According to the FieldTurf Website.
No more mowing, painting and maintenance of the playing surface. But will the color fade over time? Here is what FieldTurf says about the longevity of it's product.
- "You won’t see any fading unless you get out your microscope. FieldTurf has a built-in UV protection solution that helps it hold its color even under the most dramatic conditions of near constant, direct sunlight. Independent studies show that FieldTurf will fade at a rate of less than 1% per year. This means that after even 10 years in direct sunlight, any color change will still be imperceptible to the human eye. "
Will soccer benefit from the turf? The answer is yes. In short our soccer program has had multiple issues with the size of Cushing's playing surface. It is too small. This will help correct that problem. It will make the soccer playing surface larger and more like opposing teams we compete against in the area. See the drawings of the soccer lines layout below. Notice how the lines go beyond the football sidelines to extend the playing surface for soccer.
Barrett Shupe 6th year head coach of the Tigers, had this to say about the addition of the playing surface. "The new turf project at O'Dell Field is another example of the vision that Mr Knight and the Administration have for the kids of Cushing. It will have a positive impact on multiple programs. We could not be more excited about this project."
Football season is almost upon us, as Summer Pride is in full swing. Players and coaches, look forward to what this year and competition in a new district will look like. But there is no doubt, that Cushing will be among the best, regarding the quality athletic programs and athletic facilities.