Silent Heroes

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USC Football - Keepers of the Turf

 The Grass Clippings team had a chance to follow the grounds crew around at the famed Coliseum last week to witness the laying of the turf before the start of the USC college football season. I'll be the first to tell you that there is a different feeling in that stadium entering the upcoming college football season. The head superintendent, Scott Luphold, told us that laying the sod for this season feels eerily similar to when he would lay sod during the Pete Carroll era. Lincoln Riley has the city of Los Angeles gased up for what they think could be a very special year. Most of ya'll are probably thinking that maintaining a football field is relatively simple.

 

 

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Well for one thing it's not. The turf seen on Saturdays is grown for roughly a year in Palm Springs and then shuttled in on semi trucks. Once the sod arrives, each strip is laid, manicured by hand, and then rolled and watered for several days. It's typically a two day process with work starting at 4 am to lay the entire field. Scott Luphold told us that not only are these the toughest days for his crew, but they will have to rip up the grass and resod roughly five times throughout the season. Between Football games, large scale concerts are held at the Coliseum that require the field to be ripped up and new turf to be laid. in talking with Scott and his team, you can tell the importance of each detail. If a player were to lose his footing and tear an ACL, that could be the players fault or very well could be poor turf management. USC football has a list of future NFL players on the roster and high expectations this year. It's a bottom up operation and everything starts with the Grounds Crew. The Silent Heroes. If you're asking Billy, I expect the Trojans to be undefeated entering their last home game against The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

 


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