Instead of gophers digging holes, there were running backs
trying to find holes. Instead of wild pigs running around, there
were wide receiving running routes. And instead of cows grazing on
the grass, there were football players stretching out on the
Instead of gophers digging holes, there were running backs trying to find holes. Instead of wild pigs running around, there were wide receiving running routes. And instead of cows grazing on the grass, there were football players stretching out on the grass.
That’s right – for the first time in nearly three years – actual football players returned to the practice field at Gavilan College Thursday.
“It’s a great day,” Rams’ athletics director Ron Hannon said. “There’s a flat surface, green grass, painted lines. And no gophers!”
OK, so there were no goal posts, either – those are being installed next week. But everything else seemed perfect – weather included – on the day the Rams returned to their re-sodded, newly painted field at the Gavilan Sports Complex.
“For sure, we’re excited about it,” said sophomore defensive end Ryan Reynaud, a Gilroy High product. “We’re happy to be at home, playing at school. If nothing else, it keeps the gas down.”
Indeed, Gavilan players will no longer have to drive to Brownell Academy for practice anymore, like they had to do for the last two seasons.
And coaches no longer have to worry about shuttling back and forth between the two locales.
“A lot of times we’d have to run back to school because we’d forget some tapes or a few of our players would forget a mouth piece or whatever,” head coach John Lango said. “We won’t have that problem anymore.”
They won’t have that problem because the college finally got a bond passed that freed around $50,000 from the general fund – money that was used to remedy a decades-old problem.
For one, the field now has painted yard markers. In the past, coaches have just walked off 10 yards during practice.
Things hit a breaking point after the completion of the 2001 season. In addition to the continued onslaught of gophers, the field was being overtaken by scores of wild pigs that came down from the hills next to campus.
In one two-month stretch, over 40 pigs were escorted away after ravaging the field. If that wasn’t bad enough, several cows from a nearby ranch picked the 110,000 square-foot area to graze on one spring.
But budget constraints left the field deserted until two months ago, when the grass was first sprayed with Roundup and later pulverized.
Later in June, former head coach Bobby Garcia – the father of Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Jeff Garcia – led the way during the grading process and then a Hollister company, A.G. Sod, spent three days laying the new sod.
In the six weeks since, Art Kerr and his maintenance crew “have put in an unbelievable amount of time to make sure everything was perfect,” Hannon said.
Judging from the reaction of the team, all the hard work seems to have paid off.