Coaches working to reconstruct Truckee High soccer field
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; With an NIAA-record 15 state championships between their boys’ and girls’ soccer programs, Truckee High coaches feel their student-athletes deserve a better home.
And they’ve taken action to make that goal a reality.
Truckee coaches Casey Eberhardt, Travis Spencer and Katie Jamison are spearheading a donation- and volunteer-based reconstruction project on the high school’s soccer field, which is located between Surprise Stadium and the Sierra Mountain Community Education Center.
and#8220;One of the main factors is the safety issue. It’s one of the worst fields out there,and#8221; said Eberhardt, referring specifically to large, ankle-rolling sprinkler holes on the field, among other factors.
Eberhardt, who coaches the Wolverines’ varsity boys’ team, said the field’s sprinkler system is antiquated, with parts that aren’t made anymore. Thus, any minor issues with the old system are nearly impossible to resolve and#8212; and the grass pays the price.
and#8220;All the wiring and valves were put in the ground, so if there’s a short for a sprinkler head or a valve, they (school maintenance) don’t know where it is because the wires are just buried in the dirt somewhere,and#8221; Eberhardt said.
Jamison, coach of the varsity girls, called the field’s irrigation and#8220;very problematic,and#8221; as it either over-waters or is unusable.
Due to the shabby condition of the field and#8212; it also gets dusty from not being watered in the summer and is then overtaken by weeds once tryouts begin in the fall and#8212; the Wolverines have held their varsity home games at either River View Sports Park or Surprise Stadium the past few years. The JV squads play at Alder Creek Middle School.
It’s not ideal, as goals have to be transported in and out of Surprise Stadium, which is only available when not conflicting with the football team’s schedule, and the lines have to be repainted the day of games. The fields at River View and the middle school are in fine condition, Jamison said, but they are difficult to find for away teams and referees, and they are far from the Truckee High campus where the teams practice.
So the trio of coaches and#8212; Spencer heads the JV girls’ program and#8212; sprung into action.
Eberhardt said he first approached Truckee Principal Dr. David Putney and the school’s maintenance department this past fall to discuss options for improving the field. They decided a complete overhaul was needed, Eberhardt said, adding that the district’s Board of Trustees then gave the OK to seek the donations and volunteer help.
The initial response from the community was encouraging.
and#8220;There are many vendors that are donating various aspects of the projects,and#8221; Jamison said. and#8220;Casey has brought in CATT Community Projects Board to help get more contractors and qualified labor involved, Rotary has already donated $500 and THS Boosters has helped us get a grant from Lahontan for $8,130. and#8230; As of right now, we are anticipating raising an additional $17,000 to pay for sod and other issues we can’t get donated.and#8221;
Eberhardt said construction will likely begin in early May. But they must first receive approval from the board to move forward without all the necessary funds in hand.
and#8220;Depending on where we are with our shortfalls, they’ll either approve it for construction and let us raise the rest of the money as we go, or they will say you need to raise the rest of it before we move forward,and#8221; said Eberhardt. and#8220;Right now we’re about 75 to 80 percent there.and#8221;
Jamison said the field remodel will include all new drainage and irrigation, a level field, new sod and, within the next few years, a new track. It will also benefit the community outside of the high school, from events such as the Relay for Life fundraiser to local youth soccer leagues.
and#8220;It is very intriguing how much interest has already stemmed from local vendors who have elementary students. People want to have a facility that represents the level of quality athletes that Truckee continuously creates,and#8221; Jamison said. and#8220;A field built and maintained by the community to support the youth of Truckee is not only necessary, but will encourage these many up-and-coming generations of soccer athletes.and#8221;