Walking On Sunshine
LINCOLN ROLLS OUT GREEN CARPET
LINCOLN — A dream comes true for Lincoln athletic director Deon Birkes this week — the Wolves will play on artificial turf, newly installed at Wolfpack Stadium.
All the pieces literally are finally in place, completing a project that began in early July. Birkes spearheaded an initiative to upgrade the playing surface, a vision he says began in conversations with former Lincoln football coach Brad Harris. After Harris left, the dream stayed with Birkes and when current Lincoln head football coach Don Harrison arrived the conversation started once again.
Birkes brought up the idea to Lincoln superintendent Mary Ann Spears and found her receptive. Eventually the school board became involved.
“It kind of kept steamrolling,” Birkes said. “Now here we are.”
Birkes appreciates community support demonstrated through contributions to the Wolfpack Foundation and banner ads purchased by local businesses. Over half of the $900,000 project’s cost will be funded through these efforts with $500,000 pledged over a 10-year period.
“It means everybody is pulling on the rope in the same direction,” Birkes said. “You see the vision, not just in our school, but the vision of our community.”
Birkes is excited about kids being able to play on the turf without worry about grass being killed.
“In a town our size, for us to raise the money we did — that’s community support.”
Birkes resisted pressure to play a junior high game Lincoln hosted against Westville, Okla., on the new turf Thursday, preferring to do what he says is the right thing and let the senior high team be the first Lincoln athletes to compete on the new playing surface Friday against Keys, Okla.
As Lincoln rolls out the green carpet, Birkes invites the community to join in the celebration. The school is hosting a tailgate party starting at 5 p.m. Friday prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff. A dedication ceremony commemorating the installation of the new turf will be held at halftime and a post-game fireworks show will culminate the evening. Local sponsorship enables Lincoln to host a fireworks display after each home game this season.
The 2017 Wolves are going where no Wolf has gone before. In this year of the unprecedented, Lincoln football walks on sunshine and they got to feel good.
Lincoln athletic director Deon Birkes spearheaded an effort to install artificial turf at Wolfpack Stadium. The work began in July and was completed this week. A dedication ceremony will be held at halftime of Lincoln’s home game Friday against Keys, Okla. A pregame tailgate party and post-game fireworks show are also part of the celebration. The community is invited to join in and come out and support the Wolves.