WEST FARGO — If there was any doubt West Fargo High School made the right decision installing field turf on its football field, it seems to have been erased on the surface's first day of operation.
Following two days of heavy rain, the Packer strength and conditioning team held the first team activity on the recently completed field turf when it conducted a morning workout earlier this week on Wednesday, July 10.
While the unfavorable conditions of the previous 48 hours likely would have made practicing on the field's previous grass surface difficult, West Fargo athletic director Jay DeCann said there was no sign of trouble during the morning walk-through.
"It was everything we thought it would be," DeCann said. “We’ve have 3 1/2 to 4 inches of rain over the last few days and it was actually raining a little bit during their workouts. And there wasn’t a kid wearing any spikes and there was no slipping or sliding. The surface was dry."
The Packer girls soccer team, which will play on the surface next spring after moving over from the Lodoen Community Center, also got a sneak peek of what it will be competing on after hosting a team camp Wednesday afternoon.
Early reviews were positive.
"It's beautiful," Packers girls soccer coach George Gauld said. "The ball's moving really well and the girls are having a lot of fun. We're fortunate to have such a beautiful facility to play on."
Unable to make it to West Fargo for a scheduled inspection, DeCann says FieldTurf, the company handling all turf installation in the district, gave the school the green light to use the surface. He added that FieldTurf representatives wouldn't return to town until they could resume working on the still-ongoing turf installation at Sheyenne, which was delayed by the recent rainstorm.
As of Wednesday afternoon, DeCann hadn't been given a date for a follow-up inspection, saying "All they told us is there will be 24 hours notice."