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Meet UNC Sports Turf: the UNC maintenance team that keeps Boshamer Stadium sparkling

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Casey Carrick and Ryan Anderson pose for a portrait at Boshamer Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023.

Looking down on Bryson Field at Boshamer Stadium on game day, the field appears picture perfect. But not many people know the work it takes behind the scenes, day in and day out, to maintain the field.

The UNC Sports Turf team, made up of 10 people on the University of North Carolina Athletics staff, oversees field maintenance to make the Bosh what it is, which requires a lot of late nights and early mornings. 

What started 10 years ago as a fun Twitter account intended to give people a glimpse into what goes into maintaining the UNC athletic fields, has turned into an account with 7,500 followers run by the grounds crew sharing updates throughout the fall.

“What we started doing is just posting some behind-the-scenes pictures and the things that we were doing on the fields,” Casey Carrick, the assistant athletics director for facilities and turf management, said. “And we realized that there was a pretty good following of UNC fans that love to see the behind-the-scenes stuff.” 

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Casey Carrick, Assistant Athletic Director/Facilities & Turf Management, poses for a portrait at Boshamer Baseball Stadium on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

The majority of Bryson Field is made up of grass, with the only artificial part being in foul territory. This makes maintenance all the more time consuming, with having to juggle keeping both the grass and dirt in the best shape possible.

Ryan Anderson, the facility and turf supervisor for Boshamer Stadium, helps lead the behind-the-scenes team. He said the majority of their time, around 90 percent, is spent maintaining the dirt surfaces to make it safe for the student athletes. 

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Ryan Anderson, Boshamer Stadium Facility & Turf Supervisor, poses for a portrait at Boshamer Baseball Stadium on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

“The most crucial parts that we work on are grass to dirt edges, where it's two different surfaces meeting together,” Anderson said. “Because we don't want any bad hops to happen and a player get injured. Or, if it's in a game, we don't want them to field the ball incorrectly and there [to] be an error.” 

The weather is oftentimes the UNC Sports Turf team’s biggest enemy. The team spends dozens of hours planning their operations each week, but it all has the potential to go down the drain if there is unexpected weather.

“We can have a great plan and have the whole week planned out and then the weather changes and we have to readjust everything,” Carrick said. “So I think overall we've got a great staff that's willing to adjust on the fly and they all take a ton of pride in not just Boshamer Stadium but every every field that we maintain.”

The field maintenance equipment includes machines like infield drags, mowers and cutters. On average, the team spends 60-70 hours weekly in the offseason and around 100-115 hours weekly in season preserving the field. 

While it isn’t easy to maintain the field to be one of the top in the nation, the UNC Sports Turf team takes pride in the level that they keep the field at year round.

“We treat Bryson Field as in our minds as a professional level playing surface,” Carrick said. “We've got a staff that oversees that deal that has a pretty extensive background in professional baseball and collegiate baseball. There's a lot of experience with the guys that are maintaining that field.”

With fewer than 80 days remaining until the start of the baseball season, UNC Sports Turf is focused on making Boshamer the best stadium for its athletes to practice and play on safely.

Our number one goal is to have them not have to worry about the surface they're playing on and just focus on the game," Anderson said.

@anna_laible

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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