|Gering schools plan soccer field improvements|
|March 28, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
The 2012 – 2013 school year has brought Gering High School soccer back to Memorial Stadium, and some changes are being planned to improve the field.
While there is some flexibility as to dimensions, a standard soccer field is about 110 yards long by 70 to 80 yards wide. Gering’s field is shorter in both dimensions for soccer, although it’s larger than the size used for football.
“A couple of schools play soccer on their football fields,” said Gering School Board member Brian Copsey. “Torrington is one of them.”
Copsey, who is a member of board’s facilities committee, said the school will expand the dimensions of the soccer field next year when planned improvements are made to Memorial Stadium.
“We’re planning on removing the curb and the track cinders,” he said. “More concrete will also be laid in front of the home bleachers so that when it does rain, it won’t turn into a muddy mess like we have now.”
Copsey said the board wanted to make the improvements in phases. The first was to remove the curb and extend the turf, which would provide room for an expanded field for soccer.
“The engineers said that if we add more turf and more irrigation to keep the grass growing, plus put down more concrete, we could
expect more drainage problems,” he said. “That would require a lot of underground work to improve the drainage, so we postponed that phase.”
When the first phase was postponed, the decision had already been made to play home soccer games at Memorial Stadium. For the previous several years, Gering’s home games were played at the Landers Soccer Complex north of Scottsbluff.
“We’re still planning those improvements, but with budget issues we’ll be making those improvements next year,” Copsey said. “I’m sure the coaches and players wish the field was a bit wider, but they’re just happy to be playing games at home again.”
Copsey said that as far as he knows, Gering’s field is the only one in the district that is lighted, so matches can be played under the lights.
“As parents, we’re excited to have games back at home,” Copsey said. “The turnout has been great. More parents are showing up for games and more junior high kids, because the field is just behind the school.”