ANDRE SIMMOND controls the ball during Brewster’s first game on the new turf field on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
November 05, 2012WOLFEBORO — Matt Found was a little worried. However, there was really no need
The Brewster JV boys' soccer coach had just watched his team play the first contest on the new turf field on the Wolfeboro campus. And the Bobcats dropped a 2-1 decision to Holderness on Oct. 31.
"I think I put a jinx on the field," Found said.
That was not the case, as the Bobcat varsity boys came out and played the first official game on the new turf (the JV game was a shortened game to allow the varsity time to play a full game) and demolished Holderness by a 5-0 score.
While the JV boys didn't come out with a win, it was indeed a monumental day in the history of Brewster Academy, as the players competed on the new field for the first time.
Found credited Holderness with allowing his kids to get out and play on the field on its first day.
"We lucked out," he said. "They (Holderness) agreed to come earlier, that's how we got to play on the field."
Hurricane Sandy had a bit to do with it as well, as the rains that swept through the area the previous two days had left Brewster's usual fields pretty drenched, which meant the JV team likely wouldn't have been able to play its regular scheduled game at the same time as the varsity was playing. When Holderness agreed to move the schedule around, things moved forward.
"We couldn't have timed it any better," said Brewster Athletic Director Matt Lawlor. "We have six teams still going, so we need all the space we can get."
Found discovered that the new Brewster turf wasn't quite as fast as he expected, but rather played like grass.
"A lot of turf fields are really fast and it's a big difference from grass to artificial turf," Found said. "But this is playing a little slower, it feels just like grass."
Lawlor and Found both praised Kingswood Regional High School and The Nick for the use of facilities over the past few years, as rain often does damage to the Bobcat fields, but now that the turf is in, Found says he hopes Brewster can return the favor with the local high school.
"Kingswood has been so graceful enough to let us use their field and hopefully we can return the favor now," Found said.
Lawlor noted that with the abundance of games in the coming weeks, it was possible he still may need to get some time at The Nick or Kingswood to allow all the games to go on.
Lawlor credited the installers of the turf, Northeast Turf out of South Portland, Maine, for getting the job done in time for the matchup with Holderness last Wednesday.
"They did a great job, we're really pleased," Lawlor said. "They worked through the weekend."
Found noted that he watched the crews working late on Saturday night as they dumped the five loads of chewed up tires onto the new field.
The teams practiced on the turf for the first time on Tuesday, Oct. 30, and the next day, they were out on the field for the games.
"It's a great spot," Found said of the field, which is located between the Academic Building and the Pinckney Boathouse, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee.
For new Brewster varsity soccer coach Karl Edmonds, the field is a true blessing.
"It plays like grass," Edmonds said. "But it is a lot better."
The new Bobcat mentor says the field will also help him to build the program moving forward.
"Now we have to build a program," Edmonds said. "It's going to help us bring players in with a good style of soccer."
He noted that he is looking to continue to build the Brewster soccer program around the fact that he has a turf field to work with, which lends itself to numerous different types of players.
"We're always looking for technical players," Edmonds said. "I know I can help them and improve their game through the training."
The field is also a recruiting tool for boys' and girls' lacrosse, girls' soccer and field hockey, as it is lined for all sports to be able to use it.
However, it does leave Lawlor with one small dilemma as he moves forward. He now has to be a bit more specific in assigning practice facilities.
"I have to specify whether it's on the inside turf or the outside turf," he said, speaking of the retractable turf that covers the basketball court inside the school's Smith Center.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126