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Coaches, Community and School Officials Break Ground at North Canton's Don Hertler Sr. Field

Donning hard hats and shovels, several people gathered at North Canton's Memorial Stadium for Thursday's groundbreaking

Only in North Canton.

That seemed to be Don Hertler Sr.'s go-to phrase when describing how and why it's possible to rename the field inside North Canton's Memorial Stadium and raise enough money to pay for artificial turf.

Only in North Canton do three men coach football for 51 years collectively (that's two families — Hertler Sr., Ed Glass and Don Hertler Jr., the current coach).

And only in North Canton do the community members have the drive to honor these men by providing the field with artificial turf and creating something that's more than just a field, but a place for the community to gather.

"Most things like this don't happen except in places like this," Hertler Sr. said at Thursday's groundbreaking inside Memorial Stadium. "It's a special place to work. It's a special place to live."

Those on the committee raising money to pay for the turf also attended the groundbreaking, as did North Canton City Schools Superintendent Michael Gallina, who also backed the committee.

Those committee members include Bob Chufar, Dave Cochenour, Rob Frock, Bruce Hunt, Craig Pelini, Kevin Wood and Andy Logan.

Logan brought up the saying used by Ohio State University Coach Woody Hayes when talking about honoring the coaches. Logan also wanted to "pay it forward" and create a place that future generations will enjoy.

"It's hard to pay these guys back," Logan said. "But it's worth doing this. It's going to leave a legacy that's special."

The field, , who coached from 1960 to 1980, will be covered in FieldTurf, the same turf that covers the Horseshoe at Ohio State University.

The turf costs $750,000 and will be financed over three years. Logan said alumni and former players will receive pleas in the mail asking for donations. (Check the PDFs section of this update to see how you can donate.) 

Logan said the new surface is much safer for athletes because it's a consistent surface that is always game-ready, even after it rains.

"There will no mud," Logan said. "There will be no grass that gets torn up."

Glass said he's impressed with the community's efforts in improving the stadium and field.

"It's a great community. It's a great school system," said Glass, who's lived in North Canton for about 30 years.

"It's one of the most fortunate things that has happened to me, was coming here."

Find more information about the turf and fundraising efforts on the Hoover Vikings Football website.

Editor's Note: Make sure you catch Gallina's comments about the field in North Canton Patch's video update.

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