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Artificial turf field at Fargo Davies on track to be completed in time for boys soccer, football seasons

The turf field is currently expected to be finished by Aug. 15, before the Eagles' first scheduled home soccer game on Aug. 19.

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Work continues Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, to install artificial turf on the Fargo Davies football field. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO — The new artificial turf football field at Fargo Davies is right on track to be ready in time for the Friday night lights.

The turf started going down onto the field this week and is expected to be ready in time for the Eagle’s first home boys soccer game on Aug. 19 and the first home football game on Aug. 27.

“They’re measuring the turf out, laying it down, and making some cuts now,” Davies activities director Lenny Ohlhauser said. "We’re looking at a deadline, barring any problems, right around the 15th. It should be finished before the week of the 16th.”

Ohlhauser said there isn’t a plan for a ribbon cutting ceremony or a grand reveal at this time. So the first soccer game will most likely serve as the public grand opening for the new Matrix Helix Turf playing surface.

“Right now our booster club is planning a show-and-tell type of thing for some of the members,” Ohlhauser said. “I’m sure they’ll have some things planned for that first soccer game on the 19th. Then the following week will be our first football game out there. Nothing is set in stone yet on what we’ll be doing.”

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The process, which began on May 17, has gone smoothly and according to schedule without any major issues, according to the activities director. It is the culmination of a planning and fundraising process by the Davies Turf Committee, which dates back to 2018. The committee raised the necessary $1.3 million entirely through private donations.

“I guess when it’s your first time seeing something like this come to light, it seems like it has been smooth,” Ohlhauser said. “There’s been a few hiccups along the way, but the crew that is putting it on there seems to be very positive. They’re pushing through and reassuring us that it is going to get done. We’re just getting excited now.”

Seeing the actual green turf being laid down is the light at the end of the tunnel. Seeing the excavators out to clear the old field and then seeing the foundation for the artificial surface put in place is one thing, Ohlhauser said. But seeing the actual turf go down makes it all seem real.

Davies was the last public high school in the Fargo-Moorhead metro to install artificial turf on its football field. Shanley was the first Fargo school to install it in 2009 and all of the public schools have followed. The last schools in the metro with grass fields are Fargo Oak Grove, Moorhead Park Christian, and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

“The reality I’ve said — you can lay as many foundations down as you want — but once that turf gets laid, the reality is that we have a turf field,” Ohlhauser said. “That brings a smile to the face knowing that in a few weeks, we’re playing all of our games at our stadium. No more rescheduling.”

With the grass field, it was not uncommon for the Eagles to be displaced by bad weather. If a bad rain storm or a blizzard came through, playing on their field could ruin the surface for the rest of the season. But they won’t have to worry about that with the artificial turf, which will stay green even through the worst weather.

“Just trying to figure out what is the best — pull games off the field to protect the season and lose a home game. No more of that,” Ohlhauser said. “From an AD’s perspective, that is going to be a really nice change from what we’ve had the last couple of years.”

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Davies turf rendering
Fargo Davies High School's turf field, shown in a photo illustration, is expected to be completed in time for the Eagles' first boys soccer game on Aug. 19. Submitted illustration

Related Topics: BOYS SOCCER
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