New practice field impresses senior Bison footballers – InForum

FARGO — There were a few occasional shouting fights and minor skirmishes between offensive and defensive linemen at North Dakota State’s second soccer practice of the season on Friday. That was it for the old school though.

Everything else was like a shiny new car when the Bison entered their new training ground next to the Nodak Mutual Football Performance Complex. The indoor facility is in the final months of construction.

The outfield got their first practice.

“We old boys all said it didn’t really feel like camp because it didn’t have that old feel of being out here on the grass courts,” senior defense end Spencer Waege said. “Just out here with the new facility everything just feels spoiled and like I said it didn’t really feel like camp today.”

NDSU installed an artificial training field a few years ago, but this was removed to make way for the new project. It looks very different from the old three grass practice fields that stood on the site for many years when offensive coordinator Tyler Roehl played for the Bison and retired in 2008.

North Dakota State’s offensive lineman performs drills during practice on the new turf at the Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex on Friday, August 5, 2022.

David Samson/The Forum

“I spoke to coach Röhl before training, we’re just too spoiled,” said left tackle Cody Mauch. “He told us what he had when he was playing. No, we’re definitely pretty spoiled now.”

The indoor field of the $50 million project is expected to be completed by mid-October. The entire facility is targeting a spring completion date, with a locker room, sports medicine area, recruiting room and offices the latest to be completed.

“It always looked cute from afar,” Waege said. “But seeing up close is much better.”

The FieldTurf practice field received its finishing touches on Thursday. It includes new lights that will replace the portable ones that were brought to the practice field in late fall when practice would end after sundown.

North Dakota State punter Kaedin Steindorf and teammates get to work on Friday, August 5, 2022 during practice on the new turf at the Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex.

David Samson/The Forum

NDSU, for the most part, still requires two practice fields and uses Dacotah Field, the home turf of the Bison football team.

When the hall is complete, NDSU will have approximately 2 1/2 practice soccer fields.

“Every time we drive down the university and see it being built up, we think, man, this thing is going to be huge,” Mauch said. “And it’s definitely quite big. … That wasn’t even a thought six years ago. It’s just cool to see the progress of the program like this.”

It will be the first year NDSU will not have a grass playing field, but grass playing fields in college football are becoming increasingly rare. Every team in the Missouri Valley Football Conference plays on grass.

North Dakota State defenders prepare for practice on the new turf at the Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex on Friday, August 5, 2022.

David Samson/The Forum

The only grass field NDSU has played on in recent years is Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas for the NCAA Division I FCS national title game.

“We’re on grass all the time,” said Waege. “We don’t play anywhere in our conference, or anywhere else, that’s still played on a grass pitch. In the past few years, where we’ve always had to do a team session on grass, we’ve just never had to play on grass. Being on the pitch all the time I think helps a lot.”

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