Sonora High School´s Dunlavy Field has been battling a decade´s old problem with either severly worn-out grass or alltogether no grass thanks to a combination of overuse and severe weather elements.
That may be changing very soon however, thanks to NBC “Three Wishes” reality TV show being filmed in Tuolumne County this week. The show could help cover nearly two-thirds of the $700,000 cost of installing FieldTurf. FieldTurf is a relatively new form of artificial turf that´s becoming popular at several university and professional athletic fields nationwide. Sonora High School Principle Terry Clark originally sent video tapes of football games played in terrible field conditions to the “Three Wishes” producers.
The show´s producers told Sonora officials that if their story were selected among the other candidates to appear in the show´s pilot episode, installation of the field could start next month.
Executive Producer Andrew Glassman said he cannot say anything officially yet however he could be asking for the entire communities help in filming at the field this Thursday night. No contracts have been signed at this point however the announcement could be made at any moment.
The prospects have school officials excited.
In 2001, USA Today called Dunlavy Field one of the nation´s “10 Great Places to Watch a High School Football Game.”
FieldTurf´s foundation is a mix of silica sand, rubber granules and ground-up pieces of Nike athletic shoes. It can withstand a heavy amount of play and compared with a grass field, the upkeep is less expensive. Also, a drainage system beneath the surface keeps the field playable in wet weather.
About $250,000 is the amount of cash that Sonora officials will hope that someone locally can front should “Three Wishes” grant the big wish to Sonora High School. FieldTurf, Nike and the American Soccer Federation are putting up the rest.
The school district has been mulling the idea of installing FieldTurf for more than a year, and began raising funds to make it happen early last year — before “Three Wishes” became involved.