Grass growing well on city’s new soccer fields | Local News

A lot of grass has emerged on the redesigned Defiance soccer fields in Riverside Park.

Around seven hectares of new lawn are growing on the nine fields on the west bank of the Auglaize River.

The grass was planted in early spring after the land was leveled and new drainage installed. Three more fields have been added.

“It’s really, really beautiful,” said the city’s director, Rob Cereghin. “We only watered (the grass) twice. Mother Nature did the rest.”

“It looks amazing,” said Mike Adams, current board member and past president of the Defiance Soccer Association (DSA), which ran a fundraiser that made the project possible. “We can’t wait for the grass to come in all the way, and then we can set up the goal posts for all the fields and then hold an dedication ceremony in the fields.”

Cerghin said new goal posts for the facilities arrived on Tuesday. These will be installed by the city forces and the football association as soon as the grass is mature, according to Adams.

The football association held its spring season at Diehl Park, Veterans Memorial Park (Latty’s Grove) and Defiance High School. However, the organization hopes the new fields are ready for the fall season, which begins with training in August and games in September and October, said Adams.

“We hope we’re ready for the fall season in August,” he said.

The DSA raised more than half ($ 55,000) of the funds it needed to cover construction costs ($ 100,148) with the city budget providing the remainder. The project contractor was B. Hill’z Excavating from Wayne.

According to Adams, “major donors” to the project were the DSA, Matt Joost of Remax Realty, the Zach and Tiffany Steece families, Coit and Dr. Karen Black, Knipp Law, Mayor Mike McCann and the Defiance Community Cultural Council.

DSA serves adolescents ages six to 15, Adams noted.

While the Football Association worked hard today to improve the fields, the Defiance Optimists Club helped set the stage at Riverside Park more than two decades ago by donating five acres for the field expansion.

Years ago, a sign was posted at Riverside recognizing the optimists’ contribution by naming the football complex in honor of the organization.