Grambling, LA (November 30, 2017) -
The Grambling State University Tigers are bringing their home field advantage with them to the SWAC Championship game. Grambling started off this season with a new Matrix? Turf field with organic infill and Cushdrain? Pad at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium built by Hellas Construction. They will be playing on the same Hellas Matrix Turf with Helix Technology at NRG Stadium, Home of the Texans, this Saturday against Alcorn State for the SWAC Championship title.
Grambling Head Coach Broderick Fobbs said, “Robinson Memorial field was a great grass field, but now it’s one of the best fields we have played on. Hellas did a great job on the drainage and the installation, it’s a great facility.” He said, “We have been able to practice 98-99% of the time even during rain. The drainage has taken it to another level. We only missed one practice and that was because it was a huge downpour.”
Fobbs said, “The field plays fast. It’s a fast track, meaning the faster players are even faster because of the grip and the softness of the turf.” He said, “We look fast and quick. The softness of the turf is not as tough on our legs either. Even the coaches are not in pain. It’s keeping us healthy and we are able to be more effective.” Fobbs said, “We also noticed that we have no infill in our shoes at the end of the game.”
The Matrix? Turf with patent pending Helix Technology consists of twisted fibers of two different blade sizes and colored resin fibers that are the most resilient, stable, and durable monofilament fibers on the market. The twisted fibers create a more natural looking surface with enhanced playability that bounces back quickly after use, preventing “splash out” of the infill material. The product’s quality, performance, and longevity are unmatchable.
“This turf really plays like grass,” Fobbs said. “And the Geo Plus infill we selected really did a great job keeping the temperature down. As you know in Louisiana hot temperatures are a concern. The Geo Plus infill made things more enjoyable,” Fobbs said. “My feet weren’t burning at all.”
The Geo Plus infill, exclusive to Hellas Construction, is the premium organic alternative to black crumb rubber, made with cork and coconut fibers. It is 100% organic and recyclable, UV resistant, and doesn’t retain heat, but instead retains moisture to cool the surface temperature similar to how sweat cools the skin. Surface temperatures will be up to 40 degrees cooler than a regular synthetic turf field with black crumb rubber.
The Cushdrain Pad Grambling selected is a monolithic, paved into place, elastic layer that increases the shock absorption of the turf system, resulting in a lower GMAX, safer playing surface, and reduced concussions. It allows for rapid drainage while also providing planarity that holds its position through three to four lifecycles of turf.
The Tigers finished the regular season at 10-1, bringing home the SWAC West title and moving to the SWAC Championship for the third year in a row. “We are in a work mindset right now, focused on the task at hand,” Fobbs said. “We are saving the excitement until the end of the week and just focusing on today. We will pursue excellence at the end of the week.”
NRG Stadium and the Houston Texans selected Hellas to install Matrix Turf with Helix Technology this summer. During that same time, Grambling State University’s Robinson Memorial field was being renovated and switched from natural grass to the same Matrix Turf. Fobbs was unaware both stadiums had the same turf. “That should give us an advantage,” said Fobbs. “We are a lot faster on our own field.”
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