Rosters are very important in sports.
Especially rosters with numbers.
And especially rosters, numbers, and photos in a team lineup. That makes identification of photographs and correct spellings of players and my life easy.
In my old reporting beat, rosters with numbers generally involved the same simplicities... except they were police lineups and court rosters.
Names and faces slip past us every minute.
At Adair Kennedy Field the new goal posts have risen and the turf field has opened up like welcoming arms for the community.
It took a lot of faces and names to make this happen, and a few that almost hindered the process, and a whole lot more that will enjoy it.
To me it is one large sporting event.
Over the past few weeks I have watched Admiralty Construction’s Shawn Tucker and Mike Davis bending, crouching, lifting, pulling, driving and sweating through daily workouts.
“These types of jobs are rewarding,” Tucker said. “The benefits of enjoyment last for years.”
Georgia based Sports Turf teammates David Herbert and Brodie Jacobson have acclimated to their new team easily.
“It is hard to replace all this,” Jacobson said, his hand sweeping across the surrounding Thunder Mountain expanse. “I hate to go back south.”
These mountains will be replaced with Los Angeles buildings as Jacobson and Sports Turf go about putting in turf fields and playgrounds in the inner cities.
Herbert has been installing turf for seven years, up to five fields a year, at places like the Baltimore Ravens practice facility, the New Orleans Superdome and, well, Adair Kennedy.
“It is the faces,” Herbert said. “The smiles you see when the first people come out on the turf.”
One of those smiles came on Saturday as 13-year-old Juneau Youth Football League player Ryan Mayhew picked up his practice gear at the field clubhouse.
In a spur of the moment dash he raced to touch one goal post.
“The turf feels so good,” Mayhew said. “This is pretty cool.”
On the far side of the field more serious looking sporties convened.
City & Borough of Juneau engineering department project manager Catherine Wilkins stated the total project cost was 1.19 million (30 percent local property taxes, remainder from the state); which included a design fee of $90,000, bulk construction cost of nearly $915,000 and a one-percent-for-art totaling $9,000 that is awaiting a committee for ideas.
Ideas have included the officers who the field is named after, Richard James Adair and Jimmy Earl Kennedy, two JPD officers who died in the line of duty on April 17, 1979.
“Everybody seems to think that is a really good idea,” Wilkins said. “But it will be up to the committee to make that determination and decide what type of artwork to put up and where to erect it.”
Contingency money exists to put up more security cameras. It also bought the new goal posts and soccer tie downs.
“Being a project manager I am told I have 1.1 million dollars,” Wilkins said. “Not one penny more. It is kind of like trying to parallel park a cruise ship. I can bring the project in over or under or exactly on the dime. Chances of me bringing it in exactly on the dime are nil, because you always have costs out there that are floating. I have to make sure I have a cushion, because I can’t over shoot the number.”
Any money not used reverts to the Department of Education and Early Development City voters passed an amendment to the city charter allowing money to be moved between projects. Meaning another school project, and more young faces, will benefit.
R & M Engineering’s project engineer Mark Pusich and project inspector Jake Graves walked the new digs like field generals, talent scouts and managers all rolled into one.
“Even with that hitch,” Graves said pointing to a burnt piece of equipment. “Even with that, the crews have been on top of this whole project.”
The equipment is almost a monument to what might not have been accomplished.
Three vandals caused burning damage to the project, have been charged by the grand jury and await sentencing.
Their three faces peered into field security cameras, which aided the roster spellings and helped provide correct numbers for their uniforms. I recognized two of the names from my old “beat” coverage. They won’t get the time of day in this column.
“If I had my way,” project engineer Pusich said. “They would be handed a microphone at the 50-yard line of the first football game, and have to apologize to the 1,500 or so fans that turn out. Let them explain to everyone why they did it.”
It might be hard to explain to the multitude of young footballers that ran onto Adair Kennedy for the start of the Juneau-Douglas High School youth football camp on Monday.
With whoops of joy and the celebration of youth, tiny heads with large ambitions darted through drills.
In among the future of Adair Kennedy, JDHS head coach Rich Sjoroos marveled at their efforts. It was the way a father marvels at his own kids.
These will be faces he sees in Crimson Bears uniforms one day or in the Falcons uniforms across the line.
It doesn’t matter.
Faces, rosters and numbers mean youth programs and middle school and high school programs and a community will flourish.
“I like the field,” Sjoroos said. “It seems a little slower than the old field but it will settle.”
New signs will adorn the gates stating the rules for use.
One says No Dogs or Horses.
Those critters probably shouldn’t be out there, even though the “Lizard Effect” (anything green must be grass) is tempting.
At Thunder Mountain’s field, someone brought a horse out once which prompted a sign change.
Llamas are not allowed either, or any animals really, even though they are not on the signs yet.
Animals have a habit of cutting into things, including turf and turf doesn’t heal like grass.
So no golf clubs are allowed.
Nor is javelin throwing.
Cleats worn have to be non-metallic, one-half an inch or less in length.
Water only, no food or drinks, no gum, no smoking or tobacco.
No bikes, skateboard or rollerblades either.
Warriors will be allowed (Wasilla Aug. 18) and Patriots (North Pole Aug. 25) and, okay, Malemutes (but of the Lathrop variety, Sept. 8), Falcons (TMHS) and Nighthawks (Murrieta Valley, Calf. Sept. 15).
You see, this is the Adair Kennedy Turf Field Replacement to some...
But to others it is home field advantage.
At 6-foot-4-ish, with tuned pounds of lean muscular mobility, senior quarterback Phillip Fenumiai is easily the most recognizable face on the turf Monday.
Maybe even more recognized than Sjoroos, or the name Adair Kennedy, at least in the campers eyes.
“This is really nice,” Fenumiai said. “We would love to host some playoff games on this.”