Most fans show up Friday night at Buddy Windle Field and see the bright white yard-line numbers and perfectly straight lines, and the center-field “Block C” logo painted red, black and white, with little thought about how all the field prep took place. Other than changes in the logo, the field is exactly as it has been since the Little Big Horn opened. It takes an army to get ready for Chattooga High School to host a home football game. Concessions have to prepared, instruments have to be tuned, sound systems have to be set up, uniforms and equipment must be cleaned and ready, but who is responsible for making sure our hash marks, lines, numbers and end zones are regulation perfect?
Let’s begin the criteria that must be met for a regulation high school football field. The length of the football field, end zones included is a rectangle that measures 360 feet long by 160 feet wide.
According to the GHSA regulations, end zones are 10-yards (30 feet) deep. The “End Line” is a border placed six feet outside of the field of play. This line also serves as the restraining line that designates the closest a non-player can be to the field.
The sideline field numbers are 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide and designate yard lines at 10-yard intervals. Team benches are placed along the Restraining Line between the 30 yard markers
So who is responsible for making sure these precise measurements reach the blades of grass on Buddy Windle Field? For the last decade, Summerville Recreation Department Directors, Bo Chamblee and Kris “Tree” Willis have taken on this massive responsibility. Bo and Tree, along their team of volunteers spend hours of their time and over 14 gallons of white paint to lay out the field. Assistant Coach, Jeremy Heathcock, brings the field to life with an artistic finishing touch and over 100 cans of paint as he creates the massive block C logo, which is nearly 30-feet in diameter.
Painting the lines is an exact science. Large iron spikes are driven at very specific measured points and a string is pulled tightly between them to ensure that every line is as straight as humanly possible.
Bo and Tree also paint the softball and baseball fields for the high school. The high school buys the paint while Bo and Tree supply the labor. They believe that painting the field is a way for them to stay connected to the kids who began their athletic careers at the recreation center and now play under the Friday night lights on a field of dreams.