NGU gears up for football with improvements to Younts Stadium

North Greenville University Crusaders football team reports for fall practice on Monday, August 11 in preparation for their season home opener on Thursday, September 4 against NAIA opponent Ave Maria University. The Crusaders look to build on their 2013 record with the return of key players on offense and defense including Nelson Hughes, quarterback and Trey Walker, running back.

When the NGU football team reports on August 11, they will not only meet the 35 freshmen who will provide depth for this year’s team, but they will find a major improvement to their home field in Melvin and Dollie Younts Stadium.

Demolition began July 7 as crews began to remove the natural grass from within Younts Stadium; replacing the grass with Gridiron RS plus which is manufactured by Advanced Polymer Technology (APT Americas).

“We are excited to continue our relationship with North Greenville University. We are providing the most advanced state-of-the-art synthetic surface on the market today, and NGU will be a show place for our full line of products,” said Gary Wilson, Director of Sales with Advanced Polymer Technologies. “Many thanks to Dr. Jimmy Epting, NGU President, and his wonderful staff.”

APT Americas is the global leader in high performance engineered sports surfaces and is updating surfaces on all of NGU’s varsity sports fields. This includes soccer/lacrosse, softball, football, and a state of the art track surface from APT’s Rekortan line of products.

The new turf football field will be finished before the opening kickoff on September 4.

North Greenville University’s Athletic Department, an integral part of the University’s overall educational mission, is committed to cultivating academic and athletic excellence in student-athletes. The University recognizes that new and improved athletic facilities are critical to continued achievement of athletic success. 

According to Wayne Landrith, VP for Corporate and Foundation Giving & The Crusader Club, North Greenville University’s athletic fundraising arm, the University is dedicated to providing the finest coaches, facilities, services, and equipment to ensure academic and athletic success for over 400 Division II student-athletes.

In addition to adding a synthetic surface to Younts Stadium, the University is in the process of completing five other major projects over the coming weeks and months.

Recent improvements have been made to the Pepsi Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium by replacing the natural grass field with artificial turf and the installation of new netting. Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse will begin its inaugural season this academic year. A new tennis complex featuring twelve new tennis courts, stadium seating, and a building containing coaches’ offices, locker rooms, and concessions is scheduled to be completed by September 1.

Over the next six to twelve months, a new 5,000 sq. ft. weight room with state-of-the-art strength and conditioning equipment is being added near the Hendricks Athletic Center along with a new softball complex featuring a synthetic surface, dug outs, locker rooms, stadium seating and concessions, and a new synthetic track and natural grass field for track and field.

“These are exciting times for Crusader athletics as we update, renovate, and build facilities that will be among the very best in NCAA Division II. Our student- athletes and coaches certainly deserve the opportunity to play and coach in state-of-the-art facilities as they work hard to represent North Greenville University,” said Jan McDonald, NGU Athletic Director.

Over the next two years, the University’s Master Plan for Athletic Facilities calls for a new 5,000 plus seat arena/worship center that will be home to men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams as well as major upgrades to the existing baseball complex with stadium seating. Men’s Volleyball is a new sport addition to NGU and will begin competition in January 2015 with a home opener against Pepperdine University.

“It continues to be amazing to see the good Lord at work here. These new facilities will encourage more student athletes to become a part of the North Greenville family and give them the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ,” said NGU President Dr. Jimmy Epting. “Also, these facilities are being built without any debt. It is simply unbelievable!!”