Football fans take their seats on Friday nights and see a perfectly mowed and lined field.
Getting the field to that pristine condition and ready for Friday night action actually takes hours.
Just ask Wayne Mayberry and Eric Keever.
The two, along with help from others, make sure the Statesville Christian School football (and soccer) field is ready for action every week.
And their preparation starts long before the teams take to the field.
Mayberry, who has been working at the school in various capacities for 15 years, mows the field and gets it ready for the lines to be painted.
Keever, who works at Sherwin Williams, came on board a few years ago, offering his expertise in paint and painting to bring the field to life every week. Keever said he began volunteering when his children enrolled at SCS.
While the actual work to get the field ready for soccer and football takes a few hours each week, preparing it is a nearly full-time job, Mayberry said. Between fertilizing, watering and mowing, the field prep isn’t a seasonal occasion.
But the bulk of getting the field ready for play starts in August, just as the athletes are readying for the new season.
Mayberry said he puts markers on the field that serve as a template for painting the lines and yard-markers on the field.
Painting the field for soccer, Keever said, takes about 2 ½ hours. “For football, it’s a good eight hours or more,” he said.
Mayberry said the preparation starts with mowing the field. “I mow it pretty close,” he said.
The process of painting begins and, following a string that identifies where the out-of-bounds makers and yard markers go, a machine puts the white line down, Keever explained.
He said about 20 gallons of white paint are applied to get the field ready for play on Friday nights (or other nights for soccer).Add in a few gallons of blue paint for outside markers and the job is complete.
Keever and Mayberry said there are several other parents who volunteer to help get the field ready, which speeds up a process that takes several hours. “We really need about three people, but four is good,” he said. “It’s a big job especially when it’s grown out.”
Mayberry has the most experience in taking care of the SCS field. He came to SCS in 2001 after spending more than 30 years in law enforcement. He started as a bus driver, taking the students to and from school and on field trips.
A few years later, he became the caretaker for the field, and although it’s a lot of work, Mayberry said, he was led to the job. “The Lord led me here,” he said. “I really enjoy being here with all the kids and the teachers.”
Mayberry helped put up the first two football goals at the school. “I dug the holes,” and then with the help of five others, put the goalposts in place.
Keever said, that while he and Mayberry put in time to get the field ready, like everything else at Statesville Christian, there are a lot of others with their hands in the mix. “The feeling here is like a family,” he said.
Other private schools may have more financial resources, Keever said, but SCS is deep in people who care, and that’s evident from those that give their time to make the field look top-notch on game nights.