SPRING LAKE PARK, Minn. - High School Athletics Directors are generally pretty unflappable folks, as they're used to dealing with all kinds of unpredictable and dynamic situations.
Spring Lake Park's Matt St. Martin readily admits, however, that what he saw at his school's football stadium Thursday morning was nothing he'd witnessed before. The football/soccer field was under at least half a foot of water, with a large air bubble pushing the turf up in a long bump that ran down the middle of the playing surface.
"Shocked," St. Martin said, shaking his head. "Shocked at how big the bubbles were."
The AD figures that the field drainage system couldn't keep up with the heavy rain that fell Thursday night, and with the pumps pushing back against the deluge air was forced underneath the turf, causing the huge bubbles to form.
The Panthers had a soccer double header set for tonight against Champlin Park, a twin bill that will be postponed barring a miraculous recover. The district's maintenance crew is working with city public works personnel to pump water off the field and into city sewers. At that point, they will work with Field Turf Inc., the manufacturer of the school's playing surface, to re-lay the turf correctly, groom and fill it with the material that makes the turf soft and playable.
The good news is that the Spring Lake Park football team is on the road Friday night, giving crews more time to make things right.
"Worst case scenario, you postpone a couple of soccer games, and hopefully we're ready to go come Monday," St. Martin reasoned. "We can't control the weather so we'll do the best we can with our maintenance staff, the city as well as the schools that are coming in., and we'll figure it all out."