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Installation of the FieldTurf began on January 3. Click on the "Construction Photos" link below to view the work in-progress.
Donors Support Turf Project
Loyal fans, former athletes, students, and community leaders came forward with significant support and enthusiasm for the field turf project for Ram Stadium.
Brian Jackson '87, former fullback and two-time Academic All-American, led the initiative with a generous $50,000 pledge, which was quickly followed by Chris Mack '88, former All-American and Academic All-American safety, with $25,000.
Brian shared his continuing enjoyment of Shepherd football and reminisced about his experiences. "I have very fond memories of my football experience at Shepherd under Coach [Walter] Barr and Coach [Mike] Jacobs. I also have tremendous respect for Coach [Monte] Cater and what he has accomplished. I am especially proud to see that he has built upon the Shepherd tradition of professionalism and character, on and off the playing field."
With yet another championship under the leadership of Coach Cater, Brian feels strongly that the installation of FieldTurf will allow Coach Cater to take the program to yet another level.
Chris Mack, a teammate of Brian's, played for Coaches Barr, Jacobs, and Cater during his playing career. Chris also commented on the progress of the program throughout the years including its most recent success. "The program has a rich history of winning. The transition from NAIA to D2, the new stadium and field house, and now the field turf helps us to continue this tradition. To be competitive, we need to be able to attract top players such as Dervon Wallace (the nation's leading D2 running back this year) and Dan Peters (the top defensive back in D2 for the past few years). Continuing to upgrade our facilities provides Coach Cater a significant recruiting advantage."
Chris was asked recently how important it was (as a former player) for Shepherd to be successful on the field. "It is very important. When people find out that you played college ball, they always want to know how your school is currently doing. People are impressed when you can say Shepherd is 30-1 in regular season play over the past three years and one of the best D2 teams in the country. I am happy to support the FieldTurf Project, and appreciate the opportunity to re-live a bit of the past each time I visit Shepherd!"
BOG approves FieldTurf Installation
The Board of Governors approved the installation of FieldTurf at Ram Stadium during the board's November 8, 2007 meeting.
The artificial turf will provide a safe playing surface and, regardless of weather conditions, the field will be game-ready, making Ram Stadium an even more attractive venue for NCAA playoffs. The artificial surface will allow Shepherd to expand its athletics program to include establishing a women's lacrosse team which will improve Shepherd's athletics equity compliance. The surface will also allow a limited number of additional University activities where a large outdoor venue is needed.
FieldTurf Tarkett began work on the project on January 3, 2008, and it is expected, weather permitting, that installation will be completed by mid-April in time for the spring football scrimmage. Estimated cost for the project is $924,000 and will be financed through a blend of private support and institutional funds.
Contact Darby Jones, director of majors gifts, 304/876-5527 or email@example.com, for information on how your gift can help support this project.