Gearing Up for our Thanksgiving Showcase – A look at field preparations
Gearing up for our Thanksgiving Showcase – 11/24-11/26
A look behind the scenes with our Field Manager, Justin Peloquin
It’s that time of year again! Here at SilverLakes, we are gearing up for the biggest tournament of the year, our 2017 College Showcase! This year’s showcase will feature over 5,000 young female athletes ages 8-19! To ensure these young ladies are able to perform at their peak performance, in front the Country’s top coaches and scouts, we keep a significant focus on maintaining the best playing surfaces in the Country.
SilverLakes sat down with Justin Peloquin, our Field Manager, to discuss how he and his crew have prepared for this year’s Thanksgiving College Showcase and what it takes to get the fields ready.
How long do you start preparing ahead of time for a tournament of this size?
To get the fields ready for a large tournament, we start preparing one month out. The first thing we do is lay sod on the worn areas and spray fertilizers over all the fields weekly. Once completed, our staff transitions over to the landscape areas and adds mulch. The rest of the month is spent fine tuning every individual pitch and detailing the property.
Is there anything special you to do get the fields ready?
Spraying the fields weekly with fertilizers helps push the color of the grass so the fields are nice and green which helps with the recovery of the turf. Routinely keeping the fields fertilized on a schedule helps keep a consistent playing surface on all of our fields.
What about the construction of the field to account for rain or weather?
Underneath our grass fields, we have a perforated drainage pipes that help with draining the fields in case of rain. This process aids in the consistency of our playing surface as we can monitor how much water each field is receiving.
We are responsible for 20 Bandera Bermuda grass fields. Maintaining these fields at such a high level is a lot of hard work. My team tries to provide not only the safest playing field but the most consistent, while paying close attention to the health of our grass.
When the temperatures drop below 64 degrees the grass automatically shuts down and goes dormant for the winter. We may not be able to stop mother nature, but we can manipulate science so the color of the fields remains beautiful bright green for our Thanksgiving Tournament.
Hearing some of the top coaches and scouts in the world compliment the SilverLakes playing surfaces is a great testament to the team who maintains this property.
We are privileged in the small role we play in these young athletes’ development. A perfect playing surface allows players to showcase their abilities most consistently and we take pride and joy in that.
All in all, the property is massive, having to maintain 50 acres of grass green until Thanksgiving is a challenge especially when there are games roughly 48 weeks a year here, but that hasn’t stopped us.