No more muddy late-season practices.
No more “home” playoff games at another school’s stadium.
Coaches and administrators at Scio High School have long pondered the idea of an artificial playing surface at Newcomb Stadium.
Due to the efforts of many supporters of Scio athletics, that dream is now a reality.
Today, the Loggers will host Sutherlin in their 2013 home opener on their brand new artificial turf field.
The $1.3 million project broke ground in June and was completed in late August.
“It has been amazing,” Scio coach Jim Mask said. “Practicing on it has been great. It is so much more efficient to be out there on the turf where you don’t have to worry about tearing up a certain spot and getting footing all the time. Practice has just been amazing so far, and it’s going to be even better to play on.”
The project was started last year by then-Scio athletic director Greg Eide. Eide is now the AD at Corban University in Salem.
Eide reached out to Scio High School graduate and E*Trade founder Bernie Newcomb for a donation to get the process going.
Newcomb wrote the check, and the project was a go.
“Mr. Newcomb donated the bulk of the money,” Mask said. “He helped us do our stadium about 13 years ago, and about two-thirds to three-quarters for the money for this project was donated by him.
“The school district really stepped up with what was left over.”
Scio also received donated labor from Emery and Son worth about $100,000.
“We are also doing a brick-paver fundraiser,” current Scio AD Lisa Serafin said, adding that fans will be able to take part in this fundraiser at tonight’s game.
The field is ready to use, but will not be fully set for a few more weeks. Mask said Thursday’s torrential downpour should speed up the process.
“There are still some areas that have more pellets than other areas,” Mask said. “Obviously we’ve never done this before, but we know it’s kind of normal, and the rain will help settle it out.”
The turf is already receiving rave reviews from coaches and players. Its value will be even greater in November.
In recent years, the Loggers have played home postseason games at North Salem High School to escape the mud.
Scio no longer has to sacrifice its home-field advantage for a superior playing surface.
“We are very much a one-cut in the hole type of running back system,” Mask said. “Our double teams are key, and we have to have good footing with all the pulling we do and footing is critical. That’s why we went and played at other schools for our home games because of a lack of footing. So, this is going to be amazing.”