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Prepping the pitch


Canby Kids Soccer transforms a field north of Trost Elementary School into quality soccer fields

by: RAY HUGHEY - Canby Kids Soccer is upgrading a field next to Trost Elementary School.It was a good while coming, but this summer Canby Kids Soccer began transforming the field north of Trost Elementary School into soccer fields.

“We’ve been planning this about five years, saving and fundraising,” said Tom Zauner, a member of the youth soccer group’s board of directors.

Before the soccer supporters tackled it, the field had little going for it. Its poor drainage, rough terrain and abundant gopher population rendered it less than useful.

This year the soccer supporters got the OK from the Canby School Board and did some horse trading with the Canby Youth Baseball group.

They worked out an agreement to relocate a baseball field on the property to the Cedar Street side of Eccles Elementary School. The soccer supporters also will put in a 150-foot fence separating the field from the street.

Canby Kids Soccer will upgrade a 400-by-360-foot area next to Trost. That will give them two large fields or as many smaller fields as they need.

“We feel they will have a better field than they had before and Canby Soccer will have a nice complex in addition to what we already have,” Zauner said.

It will be a $30,000 plus project, 100 percent paid for by Canby Kids Soccer, he said.

But the youth soccer supporters had their work cut out for them.

The field beside Trost Elementary School was notorious for its drainage problems, said Wayne Layman, facilities manager-safety manager for the Canby School District.

“It gets so wet we can’t get to it without the mowers bogging down,” he said. He added that he has used his truck to pull out more than one muck-mired mower.

Work started about three weeks ago, with Canby Excavating and its heavy equipment.

The first thing they dug up was an obstacle. They found valves from an old school irrigation system buried two feet deep. They had to dig that up and move it off the field.

“That’s really slowed us down a little bit,” Zauner said.

Then Grovers Landscape Services, of Aurora, started the irrigation work. Around Aug. 19, ProGrass will plant the grass.

“And then it’s nothing but water, water, water, Zauner said.

The need for upgrading the field was obvious. Canby has a lot of kids playing a lot of sports.

“When we’re all there at once, we’re fighting over space,” Zauner said. “There’s not enough space in Canby to support all the youth teams playing in these different sports.”

About 500 kids play in the Canby Kids Soccer program alone. The organization supports an average 46 teams a year, from little guys to eighth-graders, Zauner said. They play August through November and March through May

“This will give soccer its own complex that we can schedule and use and help other soccer groups as well.

Presently, they play on a couple of fields at Baker Prairie Middle School and fields the soccer group developed at Legacy Park in partnership with the city.

But Canby Kids Soccer athletes won’t get to play on the new fields until fall 2014.

“We have to give it a whole year to grow,” Zauner said.