HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall decided Thursday to resurface the Joan C. Edwards Stadium field and will return to the AstroTurf brand for the 2014 season, the Gazette has learned.
MU has installed AstroTurf's GameDay Grass at the new soccer complex, and will use it at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The surface has a similar cushy base of infilling, but is a bit more grass-like than the current FieldTurf, which enters its ninth season.
The Thundering Herd will play on a new GameDay Grass surface Sept. 14 at Ohio, and the surface is being installed on the soccer/lacrosse field at Davis & Elkins.
Marshall installed the original AstroTurf in 1970 at the old Fairfield Stadium. The second surface at Joan C. Edwards Stadium was an AstroTurf brand, installed in 1998 and replaced in 2005 by the current FieldTurf.
Herd coach Doc Holliday is feeling better each day, it seems, about the junior-college players on the squad.
Count 'em up: Gage Niemeyer has worked at No. 1 left tackle since the spring, Ken Smith is shaping up to be a solid second-string defensive tackle, Arnold Blackmon is showing promise at defensive end, Taj Letman is taking on all comers at free safety and linebacker Neville Hewitt is drawing raves.
"I'll be honest with you, junior-college kids, you're lucky to be 50-50 sometimes on those guys, "If you look at those kids - Gage Neimeyer, I'm not sure if I've ever been a better kid than him as a juco. Ken Smith is a great kid; you've got Taj Letman coming in, Arnold Blackmon.
"Those are four guys we brought in as JC guys, and we didn't miss on any of them. They're all going to play and they're all going to help us win."
Finally, the team goes to full pads today, and the squads will not be split. The players will no doubt be amped up, but the veterans seemed wound up enough Wednesday and Thursday in "shells."