By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
On the surface, it may look like every other football field you've ever seen. But below the surface, there have been some improvements done to Washington County High School's football field during the summer.
During this past summer, Bennett R. Lewis Field underwent more than $13,000 worth of improvements.
“The field had too much of a crown,” said WCHS Athletic Director Chad Willis. “It would dry out in the middle and all the water would run towards the sidelines.”
That created puddles on the sidelines, and the grass in the middle would die from lack of water. The field was laser-leveled to achieve less of a crown and to solve the drainage problem.
A new irrigation system was installed on the field allowing specific zones to be watered instead of the whole field all at once. That system has been operational since the first of June.
"There were about four sprinkler pipes below the surface that were broken," said WCHS head football coach Mark Perry. "They actually broke a little bit into last year's season. It's hard to address that in the middle of the season, so it was old and it was time to plant some new piping."
New topsoil was brought in along with Bermuda grass seed for a nicer playing surface.
“That Bermuda grass comes in pretty fast,” added Willis. “It's got to have hot weather and plenty of water, and it's getting the hot weather now.”
The school also bought a used reel mower, which is the type needed to cut Bermuda grass.
The school is holding off on using the new field until the first home game against Green County on Sept. 12. By that time, the field should be ready for the rigors of four home games this season.
"Year one is going to be nice," Perry added. "I think it's set a good foundation for how the field's going to be in the future."