LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A lot goes into making sure the field at Lobos Stadium is ready for a new season; just ask the groundskeeping crew laying down new turf and making sure details are just right in time for preseason exhibition games.
Ysmael Sosa supervises the team who is laying new turf, leveling the field, and making sure each hashmark and yardline numbers are in place. Sosa said it takes a little more than 2 weeks to make sure the field is ready for the 2018 6A Div. II state shampions to defend their title.
“Before we drop any turf down, we have to make sure everything is level, so we check it before anything,” Sosa explained. “It’s gravel first... and then, at the end, the turf.”
Sosa’s team started June 29; by Friday, the field was looking nearly complete, except for cinder blocks covering yardline numbers down a 40-yard stretch of the fresh green turn. Sosa explained that the numbers on a field this nice aren’t simply painted on, they’re glued on.
From the top of Lobos Stadium, it almost looks complete, but Sosa said there’s about a week of work left.
“We set it, then we cut it around, and we glue it down. In order to [add pressure for the glue] we put blocks on the top,” Sosa explained. “Once the glue is right, we take off the blocks.”
They basically had to cut a football field-sized hole and refill it.
“Here on this field it’s not like regular gravel. There’s layers under the turf, so that’s a lot better you know,” Sosa explained.
The team uses a heavy roller to make sure the seams become seamless; that way, Sosa explained, groundskeepers didn’t want to repaint numbers every week, and the numbers would become set into the turf to avoid players tripping on them. The same process is used for many of the yardlines and hashmarks.
The turf is even specially made to avoid becoming a soggy mess on rainy nights.
“When it rains, the water goes through, then straight through the drainage to the sidelines,” Sosa said. “The drain goes around the sideline, like 10 feet inside the track.”
Sosa said he hopes to have the stadium ready by mid-July.
Meanwhile, Gladewater ISD announced its stadium will be closed this month for the same reason.
Superintendent Sedric Clark said the turf at Jack V. Murphy Stadium needed to be replaced, considering it’s 16-years-old.
Clark added that the district took advantage of the situation to renovate the stadium. Residents voted in may on the new look on Facebook.
The project should be completed by August 1, barring any weather setbacks.