MSUM grounds crew continues to combat Mother Nature to get spring sports on the field – InForum

MSUM grounds crew continues to combat Mother Nature to get spring sports on the field - InForum


We expect this time of year to be filled with sunshine and ball games. But, as we can all see, this weather is holding up all the fun, especially for spring sports teams. After a quarter of a century with MSUM, Kyle Kopacek has never experienced an April quite like this one.

“This is one of the latest springs that we’ve had, and I’ve been here for 25 years,” said Kyle, MSUM’s Buildings and Grounds Maintenance Foreman.

Although the dirt fields are out of commission, the MSUM grounds crew is combating the difficult weather by tending to the turf football field. They’re doing whatever it takes.

“There was three feet of snow on the field when we went out there initially,” Kyle said. “It took us almost a week to get it all plowed off.”

Scheels field, and its pro-turf surface, has become the home for softball, track, football, and soccer in the recent weeks. The crew has portable equipment to create a makeshift diamond for softball games.

“Ever since we built Scheels field, we had a portable fence,” Kyle said. “We ordered that right away, and bases and everything we needed. As soon as we had the turf, we were ready to play softball on it.”

As the soppy season drags on, so do the hours for the grounds crew.

“We don’t have all that many people on our crew, and we also have the rest of the campus to take care of,” Kyle said. “We’re not only the sports crew. We got all the campus. So we’ve been doing a little juggling, but we’ve been making it.”

With the rain turning to snow tonight, games slated in the coming days are still tentatively scheduled.

“This weekend we’re supposed to play so we’ll see,” laughed Kyle. “It’s supposed to be cold, but we’ll see if they play or not.”

MSUM is set to host a pair of doubleheaders this weekend with MSU-Mankato and Concordia-St. Paul.