MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 21, 2018

(See turf installation photos at bottom of page.)

These are exciting times for athletics at Mayville State

We’re very excited about the major facilities update that’s underway on campus – the installation of artificial turf at Jerome Berg Field! The long-time dream is finally a reality.

In June, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the kickoff of the project. Leaders from the community and Mayville State gathered to turn the first dirt on a project that has been several years in the making. Much progress has taken place since then, and if weather conditions comply and there are no hang-ups in the coming weeks, the turf will be ready for the first Comets home football game on Sept. 8, which is the annual Farmers Bowl.

Crews started removing the sod and black dirt that made up the old Jerome Berg Field on July 3. The bleachers on the north side of the field and both goal posts had to be removed in the process of stripping down the field. This first phase of construction ended July 6.

With all of the grass removed, crews began hauling in clay for the sub-base of the new turf field. It took several days to haul in the 6,000 yards of clay needed to get the job done.

The installation of the athletic field foundation is set to begin when the clay is brought up to grade. This phase includes installation of drain tile.

The next steps will be to install fabric, flat drain, and base stone. Then curb and nailer, as well as finish base stone will be installed. Finally, the turf will be installed. This step will take a couple of weeks. The finishing touches will be to spread topsoil and seed grass in perimeter areas.

On a related note, you may know that the scoreboard at Jerome Berg Field was struck by lightning last fall and is out of commission. Possible replacement scoreboards have been considered. A selection will be made soon with the goal of having the new scoreboard in place in time for the Sept. 8 Farmers Bowl game.

Wow! The updated Jerome Berg Field is going to be great! We’re happy to have our new athletic director, Ryan Hall, on board to help oversee the project, along with head football coach Sean Thom and director of facilities services Dan Lorenz.

Ryan Hall began his work at Mayville State on July 9. Hall comes to Mayville State from Benedictine College Preparatory School in Richmond, Va., where he had served as Director of Athletics since July of 2013. He began his career at Benedictine College Preparatory School as the senior admissions/athletics officer and director of summer programs in July of 2010. Aside from his work in administration, Mr. Hall has a successful nine-year record as a head wrestling coach.

Hall grew up in Mineral, Va., where he competed as a two-sport all-state athlete in wrestling and soccer and was a member of the National Honor Society. He graduated cum laude from Ferrum College in 2007 and then earned a Master of Education degree in Sport Leadership/Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008, graduating with honors.

We welcome Ryan, his wife, Lindsey, and their children O.J. (4) and Berkeley (3) to Mayville State and to the community. We wish them the best for happiness and success at Mayville State and in the Mayville-Portland community.

Ryan is ready to hit the ground running and has some very exciting ideas that will continue to improve Mayville State’s athletic program in different areas for the department and the student-athletes. He says, “Our department will thrive through hard work, honesty, teamwork, and passion for the Comets!”

Stay tuned as installation of the turf at Jerome Berg Field continues. We look forward to celebrating the completion of the project with you during the Farmers Bowl festivities on Sept. 8.