About 250 miles south of Denver, near the edge of isolation, is the small town of Branson, Colorado. Blink your eyes and you’ll miss it. But Branson has a site to see – what many have dubbed “America’s worst football field.”
âNo, I don’t dispute that title,â said Brad Doherty, Branson School athletic director and chief dirt keeper. “We would go out before every game and fill and break down as many gopher holes as we could find. It was like Bill Murray in ‘Caddyshack’.”
The players said the “grass” would stab them. But the Bearcats loved football enough to endure it – until the end of last season, when other teams in the league said they would no longer play on the rocky high desert rectangle. It was just too dangerous, they said. “It was quite heartbreaking to hear that people didn’t want to come and play on our field,” said one player.
âFootball in our community is the one thing that attracts everyone and brings everyone together,â Doherty said.
This is why Doherty decided to attempt a Hail Mary. He asked the players to make a video, explaining that they needed artificial turf because they didn’t have enough water in Branson to grow real turf. The price of sod shocked the school board, they said.
Doherty posted the plea on social media, hoping anyone outside of Branson would see it.
Thanks to the kindness of strangers from across the country, the bad news of Branson, the Bearcats, is back in the game. They ended up raising over $ 500,000 and now have the best field in the league.
They have just played their first game and won by almost 60 points. Doherty said the biggest win is the pitch itself.
âIt’s become something that we show our kids – you can aspire to do big and impossible things,â Doherty said.
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