There is no green jacket or blooming azaleas but when Ray Brincefield looks out at the Carter-Finley Stadium field, he can almost see Augusta National.
“It looks like the Masters out there,” said Brincefield, N.C. State’s assistant athletic director for facilities. “It’s beautiful everywhere.”
N.C. State will play a football game on the renovated turf at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday against Boston College for the first time since Hurricane Matthew hit on Oct. 8.
The Wolfpack beat Notre Dame 10-7 in its last home game three weeks ago. The storm turned portions of the playing surface into a wading pool.
Four inches of rain fell before the noon kickoff and another five during the game. The gravity drainage system installed at the stadium in 2009 is built to handle a lot but that was a tax on the stormwater system.
Brincefield, who has worked at N.C. State for 27 years, said the rainfall from the Notre Dame game was about 3 more inches of water than any other event at the stadium, including the 1999 football game with South Carolina during Hurricane Dennis.
With some hard work and a little luck with the weather, Brincefield’s turf crew of specialists Derek and Daryl Liles and Kelly Edwards, a technician, have been able to get the field back in top shape for Saturday’s game with Boston College.
It looks like the Masters out there. It’s beautiful everywhere.
Every year when N.C. State goes on the road for the State Fair and fall break, Brincefield’s crew aerates and reseeds the field. This year, that break just so happened to fall after the Notre Dame game and the big storm.
“It’s all about timing,” Brincefield said. “Literally, it couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
The Liles twins and Edwards aerated the playing surface and on the Monday morning after the game they cast about 650 pounds of rye grass over the field.
After 10 days, they were able to mow the field again and the grass has come in as good as Brincefield could have hoped.
The only thing missing, ironically enough, was more water.
“The weather has been beautiful, perfect almost,” Brincefield said. “We actually could have used a little more rain.”
Brincefield and his crew were putting the finishing touches on the repaired field this week. The Notre Dame game was the 50th anniversary of Carter-Finley Stadium and they painted the diamond “NCS” logo at midfield. The block “S” logo will return for Saturday’s game with Boston College.
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren hasn’t had the team practice on the stadium field since the Notre Dame game. Normally, the team will work out at the stadium on Sundays but they’ve been able to use the indoor facility. Doeren, whose office in the Murphy Center overlooks the field, said he has noticed the work by Brincefield’s crew and the progress of the field.
“Our grounds’ crew is phenomenal,” Doeren said. “I don’t know all the different techniques they use but the (field) has been covered up, and I know the weather has been good for them to get it back. If anybody can do it, it will be our guys.”
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio
Boston College at N.C. State
When: 12:30 Saturday
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh
TV: ACC Network