Lindsay readies for 2019 season with new football field

The football field at Frank Skadan Stadium is resurfaced in time for spring practice, and Lindsay’s annual passing tournament

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

LINDSAY – The first stage of Lindsay Unified School District’s nearly $2 million resurfacing project has been completed. Replacement efforts on the playing surface at Lindsay High School’s Frank Skadan Stadium were completed earlier this month.

“It has given kids a little more excitement about this upcoming season,” Lindsay head coach Matt Mendonca said.

The field boasts the same two-tone style with some added features. In addition to the school’s initials on each of the 20 yard lines, an emblem of a Cardinal head was installed at mid-field.

This is the first major undertaking on the field since it and the adjacent soccer field to the west were installed 13 years ago. The surface of the football field was littered with pieces of replacement turf. The field has reached the end of its life cycle according to the district director of facilities Merced Doria.

Mendonca witnessed first hand what hazards the rips and tears of the old field caused. Last season, he saw a significant rise in tweaked ankles, and shoulder injuries.

“We had to be very aware of where we were on the field,” Mendonca said. “The field was deteriorating, but now we don’t have to worry about that.”

Lindsay Unified decided to go with AstroTurf out of Fresno. Their $1,894,460 price tag for both fields was competitive to other companies according to Doria. The 101,400-square foot football field will be $827,420 or $8.16 per square foot. Installation began on March 18 after soccer season concluded. Construction was scheduled to take a month, so the field was expected to be completed in time for spring football practice and passing leagues.

The adjacent 135,000-square foot soccer field comes with a $1,067,040 or $7.90 per square foot, and is scheduled to begin this time in 2020. The reason for staggering the dates was partly to ease the district’s burden of costs, and second, to be able to keep one field playable for youth leagues at all times.

While AstroTurf might have had a competitive price tag to their product, other factors came into play.

The turf Lindsay Unified has on their fields currently is from a company out of the Los Angeles area called FieldTurf. The distance has been a real problem in getting repairs done on the field in past years. In the case of AstroTurf the district did not have to wait long at all to get a response.

AstroTurf has also been active in and around Tulare County. They have installed turf fields at Tulare Union High School and Exeter Union High School in recent years. Projects also include the Fresno and Merced areas.

Lindsay Unified will be getting the Green Series DT32 turf installed. The same system which is now installed at Exeter’s Monarch Stadium. The 80 ounces of fiber per square yard will give the field a lusher and more natural look compared to the 36 ounces of fiber in the current system. It will resemble hybrid Bermuda grass, and help cushion falls.

The pad which will act like a barrier between the turf surface and the concrete slab has a two-year life span. Even without the fibers, Lindsay Unified might see a significant drop in on-field injuries.

What stadium visitors might notice most is that there are no more black rubber pellets. The backfill will be clear and more environmentally friendly. The school will also be able to put water down on the field to reduce heat during the summer.

The field is ready just in time for the Cardinals’ annual passing league tournament on Saturday, June 1. There will be 25 varsity and 10 junior varsity teams breaking in the new turf.

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