PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new $770,000 field turf surface that, according to local coaches and college officials, will make Sigmar Field one of the premier soccer facilities in the Pacific Northwest.
The surface was installed by FieldTurf Inc. and is similar to the turf used at Providence Park by the MLS team, the Portland Timbers.
It will be used by the Peninsula men’s and women’s soccer teams and local prep and youth soccer teams. In fact, the first-ever game on the new surface was played Thursday night between the Port Angeles boys soccer team and Olympic. The Port Angeles boys played their first couple games of the season at Civic Field while work was proceeding at the college.
“This is going to be the best pitch in the NWAC for the next 15 years,” said Rick Ross, associate dean of athletics and student life.
Ross said the new field surface represents Sigmar Field 3.0. He said that, when he attended Peninsula College in the 1970s, it was a grass field. “It became a mud field by mid-October.”
Ross gave credit for the field to the students of Peninsula College, who unanimously voted for a student fee to help pay for replacing the old field turf that had been in place since 2010. The fee also helps fund the school’s fitness center and Pirate Union Building equipment.
Peninsula women’s coach Kanyon Anderson said the Pirates have used their home field to its advantage with 192 wins, 15 ties and six losses at Sigmar Field since 2011.
“We have won 94 percent of our games on this field,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he’s seen plenty of other fields in the NWAC and traveled to Arcata, Calif., to see the facilities at Cal Poly-Humboldt where former Pirate Grace Johnson is now playing soccer (as will current Pirate Millie Long next year.). He said the Cal Poly-Humboldt field is considered the best field among NCAA Division II schools in California with a beautiful backdrop of redwoods.
“It’s nice … but it’s not nearly this nice. Ours is nicer,” Anderson said. “Ours is the Lamborghinis of soccer fields.”
Peninsula College President Susie Ames said FieldTurf Inc. battled a lot of elements, wind, snow and rain, to get the installation done in mid-winter. Peninsula College teams will play some exhibition games on the field in April, including an April 1 men’s game with the University of Washington.
Men’s coach Jake Hughes said that, as a player for Peninsula College in the 2000s, “I got to play in those boggy patches,” that Ross had referred to.
“What a beautiful facility we have. For such a small community, we really punch above our weight,” Hughes said.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or email@example.com.