COOS BAY — Knee-high grass, scattered bushes and rocks throughout: the perfect makings of a soccer field.
On a mission to get more soccer fields in the area, Coos County Youth Sports president Kevin Dubisar saw the overgrown field in Eastside and knew that it could become a playable field. While today it still looks like a rundown field, it is all part of the process.
“It has to be done by this summer. So in September when we start back up with games, it has to be, no matter what it will be ready. With a couple weeks of sun we can make a lot happen,” said Dubisar.
The youth sports league has soccer teams for those ranging from kindergarten all the way through senior year of high school. With some 40 teams in the league — before the season was shut down because of COVID-19 — places to practice and play games were at a premium. Teams use various schools throughout the area with more areas needed.
“So there’s a need for fields. And around here, there’s always been a need. You have different sports playing and everybody needs a spot. And so in order to help the community out and not make it harder on everybody we need to make more fields,” said Dubisar. “We really need a few more, one isn’t going to cut it but it’s a good start.”
After driving by what looked like an abandoned field on the property of Bigfoot Beverages, Dubisar reached out to the company to see if they could make use of it.
“They said to get a packet together. So I thought it was going to take six months, seven months and it was like three days to do it,” recalled Dubisar. “So I mowed it, me and a couple people mowed it down and cut the bushes down and the next day we ended up having a game here which was a little wild.”
The game was played on the scrappy field but it was clear from the start more work was going to be needed. For starters, one end of the field was significantly higher than the other.
But instead of being able to simply scrape off excess of the high side to balance things out, the lower side would need to be raised.
“But (the higher) side has the facilities underground so we can’t just shave that side down and make a nice field, it would be too easy,” said Dubisar. “So we said can we raise this side up so we can get more of a crest going and they said yeah that’s something we can do. And then this tiny little project suddenly gets a little bit bigger.”
There came the necessary hoops to jump through.
First it was getting a permit from the city for this location and then there was the need for an engineer. With community support in both areas, it was then time to start the actual maintenance of the field. After the initial set of games in the fall, the goal was to get the new field in place come spring.
Needing around 10 days of no rain to get to work on the field, only so much could be done. What needs to be done going forward is sand will be added to level the field and then seed will be planted so that come fall it will be another field that can be used for both practices and games.
“The only thing is I want it to be top notch. I want to get the crest on it and it to look really nice so when we put the seed down and we do the stuff so we don’t have to do it again. Do it right the first time,” said Dubisar. “We want it to be the best possible field we can make.”