After receiving a brand new scoreboard before the start of the 2015 football season, the Bearkats will run out onto a brand new turf field when they begin the 2016 season against Oklahoma Panhandle State on Sept. 3.
The replacement of Bowers Stadium’s old surface, which was installed in 2007, with a new AstroTurf 3D3-60 field, the same turf installed at Don Sanders Stadium last fall, is nearing completion. It cost Sam Houston State $525,000 to install the new turf.
“It’s stunning,” Sam Houston State head coach K.C. Keeler said Tuesday. “It just sort of takes your breath away. I was out on the field earlier (Tuesday) and they’re almost done. It has a really impressive feel and look to it. The blue outline and the paws on the 25-yard line going in look awesome. I know our kids will be excited knowing they get the chance to play on that.”
The Sam Houston football team has been doing its summer conditioning at Don Sanders Stadium and competing in 7-on-7 drills at Huntsville High School while the new turf at Bowers Stadium has been installed.
Keeler expects the team will be able to move their conditioning and 7-on-7 drills to Bowers Stadium next week.
The new turf will feature inlaid letters “Sam Houston” and “Bearkats” in the end zones and inlaid Southland Conference logos and Sam Houston paw print logos on the field, as well as colored end zones and field border.
In the past year, new state-of-the-art video/scoreboards have been added at the venues for football, track and field, volleyball, basketball and softball; a new AstroTurf field has been installed at Don Sanders Stadium for baseball and renovations for Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum are ongoing.
“Just as the video and scoreboards added new dimensions of entertainment at Bearkat football this year, the new turf will bring extra excitement and energy to Bowers Stadium,” Sam Houston State athletic director Bobby Williams said. “We were able to renovate the track a year ago. Now we are adding new turf to the football field. Each of these new additions to our facilities improves the situation for our coaches in recruiting quality student-athletes.”