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BY Todd Britton



BOLIVAR, New York - When Bolivar-Richburg High School replaced the natural grass on its baseball fields with synthetic turf in 1999, the Wolverines went on to celebrate 17 consecutive years of winning seasons.  This summer the campus is giving the field another upgrade, removing the old turf and replacing it with a SpikeZone Pro system from Shaw Sports Turf.

Construction on the project began the first week of June and is expected to be complete by Aug. 1.

“Our old turf has outlasted its life expectancy, and it is now time to replace it with a more modern product,” Athletic Director Dustin Allen said, noting that the varsity baseball team has had a record of 153-35-1 since initially converting from natural grass.  “Shaw Sports Turf was very cooperative to work with and had the product that we were looking for.  This will make our field the premier facility in the area.”

The school’s new field will feature SpikeZone Pro.  Spike Zone Pro is the newest innovation from Shaw Sports Turf, featuring a patented manufacturing process which runs three distinct fiber types through one needle as the field is tufted.

Spike Zone Pro features a combination of monofilament fibers, slit film fibers, and a Spike Zone thatch layer.  Shaw’s HP+ monofilament fiber is made with a high quality resin that has a thick, diamond cross-section (no spines) to prevent premature wear such as fraying and splitting.  In fact, it has not had a fiber failure to date.  It excels in performance characteristics (ball roll and ball rebound) and is known for mirroring the aesthetics of natural grass.  The slit film fiber is a high performance resin with superior durability, providing performance with a fiber that will stand the test of time.  The Spike Zone layer minimizes infill movement and migration to other areas of the field, providing extra protection against inconsistent and unsafe surfaces.

All three fibers are run through one needle, a process no other synthetic turf company has been able to replicate.  This patented manufacturing process is extremely important in avoiding streaky fields which are created when manufacturers use three fiber types, but cannot run them all through one needle.  Other manufacturers are forced to create alternating rows of different fiber types.  Each of these fibers has a different look, so when rows are alternated, the field has a streaky look.  Spike Zone Pro eliminates the problem and provides a strong, hard-wearing surface that looks great and can meet multi-sport performance requirements.

The new field will be utilized for practice and games for the baseball team.  The outfield will sometimes serve as a practice area for football and soccer.

Synthetic turf fields provide many benefits including reduced maintenance, the ability to have more programmable hours of activity, the possibility for increased revenue as a result of having more events, consistent performance, and a source of pride for the community.

Shaw Sports Turf Territory Manager Edwin Thomason said he was proud to work alongside Allen and other school staff as they selected the product that would best fit their needs.  “This project is truly about giving the Wolverines the surface they need to continue their success on the field, whether it is in games or practice,” he said.  “The athletic program will benefit for years to come.” 

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