FARGO — A fundraising and planning process that took more than three years and a construction process that took more than three months culminated Thursday as the Fargo Davies boys soccer team broke in the school’s new artificial turf field with a win.

The Eagles soccer and football teams practiced on the field for the first time Wednesday and Thursday brought the first game action to the new surface. Davies ran away with a 5-0 victory over West Fargo in Eastern Dakota Conference boys soccer.

“The boys had the extra pressure on them tonight and I told them that’s something to get used to,” Davies soccer coach Ian Costello said. “It’s early in the season, but I think we will have a target on our back. I told them, ‘Hey, you have this added pressure and I’m sure West Fargo wants to come in here and ruin this for you. So let’s see what you’ve got.’ They came out and executed.”

Sam Saye eased some of the pressure for the Eagles as he scored in the third minute and became the first player to score a varsity goal on the new field. Drew Beiswenger added a brace a couple of minutes later and Davies was off to the races.

The Eagles showed their scoring depth with goals from five different players as Bill Mukundiyese, Charlie Metzger, and Leon Hidanovic also scored.

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Eagles junior goalie Esteban Nunez notched his first shutout of the season in the win over the Packers. The Eagles won each of their first two games this season 4-1.

“After our last game, we had a hat trick out of one kid, Patrick Lawrence, and he had a couple of posters tonight, but he didn’t score,” Costello said. “We’ve got a lot of kids who can put the ball in the net. It’s just doing it on a consistent basis now.”

The soccer team got the first practice in as they braved the 95-degree heat in the afternoon on Wednesday. But the football team chose to wait out the heat and held an evening practice. They’ll be second to use the field in a game when they open the season against Fargo Shanley next Friday, Aug. 27.

“Walking out here for practice was a cool vibe,” Costello said. “We got a picture of the team on the Eagle (on the turf). That song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is our victory song after a win, so I threw that on. It was lighthearted because we just played on Tuesday in 90-degree heat. It’s been a fun two days.”

The turf was finished being laid on Sunday, but there were still finishing touches and cleanup processes that needed to be completed early in the week. The football and soccer teams weren’t cleared to utilize the new surface until Wednesday, and that wait was agonizing for the players and coaches.

“Looking at it earlier in the week, the kids were saying, ‘Why can’t we be out there? It looks done,’” Davies football coach Wayne Werremeyer said. “So last night we finally said, ‘Alright, let’s go onto the turf.’ And they said, ‘Really?’ They were all really excited to get on there.”

The Davies Turf Committee formed in 2018, recognizing a need for a turf surface for football and soccer. The committee raised the necessary $1.3 million entirely through private donations.

“I don’t think we can say thanks too many times to everybody who made this happen.” Werremeyer said. “People think I had this huge role in this. But I was kind of a bystander. I sent a couple emails and tried to help how I could, but it was really the turf committee, booster club, administration. We can’t say thanks enough. This is something we’ve wanted for a long time.”

With a grass surface the teams were too vulnerable to the unpredictable and often-harsh North Dakota weather conditions. Rain or snow could force the teams off the field. The Eagles lost more than one home game over the years because the grass field just wasn’t in good enough shape to play on.

“On the girls (soccer) side of things, I think this will be fantastic in the spring,” Costello said. “This field has been in some poor condition in that spring weather. This is a pretty facility.”

The construction process lasted about two months, kicking off on May 17 and concluding Aug. 15. Werremeyer said he was out at the football field checking on the progress just about every day. He was amazed at how quickly almost every step of the process went.

"They got the dirt out of there so fast,” Werremeyer said. “The amount of dirt they got out of there was amazing.

"People kept asking me how the turf was going, but I had to tell them I’m no expert. They had the roller machine — I don’t know what they call it — to smooth out the dirt and make it even. I’m guessing they have some GPS and electronics to make sure we’ve got it even for the whole field. When the actual carpet showed up, that took about a week to lay. The first time I walked on it, I thought, 'Oh, man, we can feel all the pebbles and rocks below.' And then when they back filled it it was all soft and everything."