Concord University athletic director and head football coach Greg Quick was a happy man Wednesday morning.

“We found out about 20 minutes ago that it’s going to be a go for the game to be played here Saturday,” said Quick Wednesday morning during an interview with the Times West Virginian. “We’re very excited about that and we’re looking forward to a great day on our new field and a very good football game with Fairmont State.”

Concord University will unveil June O. Shott Field at Callaghan Stadium Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. when FSU pays a visit to Athens. Ironically, it will be the third straight new field surface that the Falcons will play on this season.

“We know we’re going into an environment down there where Concord’s players are going to be fired up and ready to go,” said FSU coach Rusty Elliott. “They have a beautiful new field and I’m certain their kids are really looking forward to playing on it and winning on it after watching it be built the last few months. No team wants to play a game on its new field and lose.

“Our kids, on the other hand, are going to step off the bus for the third week in a row and say ‘Wow what another nice stadium and look how beautiful this place is.’ It’s going to be tough. Our guys are going to face some adversity and we’ve got to fight through it. When the ball is kicked off, though, it’s going to come down to our 11 guys against their 11 guys and our guys better win the battles.”

Installation of the new state-of-the-art Desso-DLW artificial “football grass” surface at Concord began in July and it was hoped that it would be ready for the Mountain Lions’ home opener last week against Tiffin. It wasn’t, however, and that game had to be moved to Woodrow Wilson High School. Early this week it was feared the opening of the field would be delayed again, but officials assured Quick that it would be game ready for Saturday’s showdown with Fairmont State.

“Right now, two Division I schools, Oklahoma State and the University of Wyoming have this new turf, Desso-DLW, installed,” said Matt Hogg, a representative of the Sports Construction Group from Cleveland, Ohio which was in charge of the installation. “The technology for this turf was pioneered in Europe and is just now coming to the United States. A high school in Indianapolis is the nearest to Concord with this field. Also, the Meadowlands, where the New York Giants and New York Jets play, is going to install this turf.”

Quick says to finally see the project almost complete has been stimulating for all those involved with it.

“This project started the day I interviewed with (Concord University president) Dr. (Jerry) Beasley about three-and-a-half years ago,” said Quick, who is entering his fourth season with the Mountain Lions. “We talked about the needs of the program and the needs of our athletic department. One of the needs is that we’re flat-land poor at Concord. We have to practice and play in the same facility and we also needed some recreational space for our students.

“The athletic director at that time Steve Lee (a former assistant football coach at FSU in the 1980s) and myself began the project. When I took over as athletic director I kind of put the foot to the pedal a little harder and we continued to solicit donations.”

One of the biggest supporters of the project was Bluefield philanthropist June O. Shott, whom the field is named after. Quick says her involvement in the endeavor was crucial.

“June Shott is a wonderful lady who cares a great deal about the young people in southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia,” said Quick. “She got excited about the project and saw that she could really make an impact. She’s been very generous to many schools. I think she sits on 19 boards or something like that. She’s just very generous. She gives of her time as well as her finances.

“She’s given to WVU. She’s given to Virginia Tech and she’s given to Bluefield State. With this project, she knew it was going to have a dynamic impact on a lot of people so with her cooperation she and I have really partnered to push this thing forward. She’s been very enthusiastic about it.

“Then we also had an anonymous donor who provided the work for us to do the lights for the whole complex as well. Our softball field, the tennis courts and the football field will all be lighted by the middle of next week.”

Quick also noted that a new scoreboard is expected to be in place by Concord’s homecoming game with the University of Charleston which is scheduled for Oct. 7. He also said plans are in the works for a new press box at the stadium sometime in the next year-and-a-half.

“We’re trying to bring our facilities up to date,” said Quick. “We want our athletic program to reflect the excellence of the institution as a whole.”

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