Hammonds Field makeover going strong

Turf is halfway done, crews working full-speed
Jun. 30, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

It looked like a meeting of the minds at Householder Field Saturday afternoon as Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters and Assistant County Mayor Greg Patterson surveyed the work being done on the playing surface.

Crews labored to install the field’s new artificial turf under a clear sky, something that’s been uncommon of late in Gatlinburg.

Patterson explained the heavy rains over the previous week had slowed work, and it was obvious from the bleachers above the turf that the contractors were working overtime to make the most of the cooperating weather.

As of Saturday afternoon, the new artificial turf has been installed on roughly half the field. Looking down from the field house side, the territory to the left of the 50-yard-line has the new Astroturf, while workers with rollers prepared the side to the right.

Another group of laborers was working to complete the finishing touches on one end zone, freshly labeled with “Pittman,” one half of the two communities that combined to support GPHS.

G-P coach Benny Hammonds said by phone from Wyoming that a new crew of workers is concentrating to get the job finished.

“They’re working, and they’ve got a big crew in there,” the longtime coach said. “They had a crew that came in from North Dakota to finish the job, and they’re just going to stay until they get it done.”

The Highlanders will be the first team in Sevier County to have an artificial playing surface, which should be a blessing to the Blue and Gold. Because of the field’s configuration, it hadn’t drained well in the past and was often turned into a pit of mud after any play in rainy conditions.

The Highlanders open their season at home against Cocke County on Aug. 23.