Macon-Bibb County made the decision to take a leap of faith to create a safer, higher performing playing environment for their student athletes. Ed Defore sports complex was scheduled to have two fields renovated this spring and chose Brock PowerBase/YSR shock pad systems to go under their AstroTurf 3D3 Blend HD turf system with rootzone. The fate would have it the football field happened to be installing when BrockFILL was set to hit the market and County Athletic Director, Barney Hester, said, “yes” to being the first in the nation to install the new infill engineered from southern white pine.
“Heat here is crazy, especially in the months here that we play football, so that was a huge factor for us,” Hester said. “With the technology that’s out there now you have to think safety before you think anything else. I felt that once we chose Brock(FILL), it was a no brainer.”
The combination of BrockFILL, the PowerBase/YSR shock pad system, and AstroTurf’s high-density, low pile height turf create a firm, fast surface for the athletes. This was an important factor for the West Side Seminole coaching staff.
“You can get out of cuts quicker. The wide receivers the running backs, the line backers, those kids are explosive kids, so they try to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. This type of surface helps that because it’s not as bouncy as the rubber beads,” said Head Football Coach “Spoon” Risper. “You want a fast surface. The skilled athletes love it, and even the linemen these days, they love a fast turf. That’s one of the main things you’re looking for in playing on turf.”
“It’s a great peace of mind knowing that shock pad is underneath there,” said Risper. “Of course you can’t prevent all concussions, but this is a huge step in helping to prevent concussions.”
The excitement is palpable now that the fields are in place and ready for the athletes to strap on their cleats and start playing. Even as the fields were being built, Coach Risper and his players would sit atop the bleachers and just look at the field.
“We just look at it because it’s just so beautiful. It just brings this whole stadium back to life. We’re really pumped about it,” said Risper. “I just have to get out on this field because it’s been such a long time coming for our community.”
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