Armed with spray cans, tape measures, and huge stencils to guide their work, the field paint crew put the home, in home field for more than 20 years.
“It’s based on years of experience from the group,” said one member. “And when they say it looks good, its good.”
Like a well practiced team, this group has the work of spray painting the field for Friday night football down to a science. They know exactly where to place the big tarp with cut outs that spells “Bengals” in the end zone. The school district paints the basics, like yard markers and end zone lines. But it’s a group of volunteers that adds the artwork that says, Blaine football.
Downey says the group never got a formal name. They’re simply known as the field paint crew, working together as they have for years like an extended family. Some have stayed on the crew even after their children have left the school and gone off to college.
“It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, but we have great family support here and they want to do what’s best for our kids, And I’m really, really thankful,” said Blaine Activities Director Shannon Gerrety.
It has been a family tradition dating back to when Shannon Gerrety was head football coach, and before that, when Dave Nelson was head coach. Their fathers helped organize this event for home games.
“Just a collaboration of parents coming together over the years to put together one of the greatest fields in the north metro, maybe in the metro back in the day together to make it a special place for kids to play ,” said Gerrety.
It’s a point of pride that current coach Michal Law says is not missed by the players.
“As the kids roll out here on Friday night, they know who has painted those fields, they know who has taken the time to do that,” said Law. “I think it just means the world to them to know their parents and their community supports them.”
Now with turf grass being installed after this season, it means more teams will be able to use the field. But that also means paint and painters won’t be needed.
“Last year, we’re going to get field turf next year at Blaine. A little bit said for me,” said Ken Downey. “But it will be best for all the kids.”
The volunteers point out there are many other meaningful ways to volunteer at the school.