North Augusta High School was recognized Friday for having one of the top athletic fields in the country.
Pioneer Athletics gave the school a 2011 Fields of Excellence award for it’s football field. The award was one of 91 given nationally.
Each member of the volunteer field paint crew received a certificate and the school received a banner to place in the stadium.
“We had several hundred applications and of those 91 were selected as our winners,” said Jeff McAlister, a sales representative for Pioneer. “It’s just our way to acknowledge field crews for the wonderful work they do. They put in endless hours doing work to keep fields in great shape.”
The volunteer field paint crew is comprised of members of the community who spend many hours over the course of a few days ensuring that the field’s North Augusta diamond and Jackets lettering is just right before games.
“We have the time to do it so we do it,” said volunteer Eddie Watkins. “We don’t do it for the recognition. We do it because it’s our way of giving back.”
“We support the school and our teams,” added volunteer Jim Richards. “We enjoy giving them a field that they can be proud of.”
The volunteers are also a help to the coaches, said David Robbins.
“I know it’s a relief for coaches because it’s one less thing they have to worry about,” he said.
Their work and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“It’s great,” said athletic director Dan Pippin of the volunteers’ work. “The community has a lot of pride in the school and people are always willing to help. The job these guys do is wonderful.”
Principal Todd Born-scheuer agreed, noting that there’s an “intricate science” that goes into it.
“It’s not easy to do something like this,” he said. “These guys are out here at 10:30, 11 o’clock on Wednesday nights to make sure the field is ready. They deserve to be recognized.”
Other members of the volunteer paint crew are Kent McCormick, who heads up the crew and design team for the field, Richard Redd, Gene Robbins, Mark Owens, David Sam, Wally Odom, Jeff Silverhaus and Hugh Eggersman.
“We always have room for volunteers,” Richards said.
“We’ll give them on the job training,” added Robbins.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Pippin at (803) 442-6100.