Fuqua School Was/Is Fore's Field Of Dreams
Published 3:42 pm Thursday, April 18, 2013
On the night before Fuqua School's delayed season-opener last September, I found former football coach, and soon-to-be former athletics director, Lewis “Skeeter” Fore, making final field preparations for the upcoming event.
It was the first game of his final season as head football coach, and the condition of the field rivaled that of any natural-grass gridiron ESPN was going to show for whatever SEC game it chose to showcase on Saturday afternoon.
The lines were all there. They were straight and numbered, and there were 320 individual yard markers in four rows of 80. The grass was as green as the 13th fairway at Augusta, and almost as well manicured.
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Given the time constraints, of a school's primary mission of educating children, high school fields, as a rule are generally not marked this well.
It usually takes a team of field grass experts to get a football field in that kind of shape using a lot of expensive equipment specifically designed for large patches of grass.
Skeeter does it with a little help from folks like longtime assistant Walter “Bozo” Addleman, his modest, but trusty, mower and two 5/8-inch garden hoses.
Just two hoses, and two consumer-level sprinklers that might be running in your front yard right now. It takes about two days to get every square inch of field watered.
Basically, with the aforementioned assistance (if he knew this was going in the paper, he'd be quick to mention a few more folks that help him when they can), he's a one-man field maintenance crew.
Fore, who was reassigned within the athletics department at Fuqua this week, will continue on in an advisory role, and will also continue to supervise the fields at the school.
That's good, because, like I mentioned before, it would take a team of folks to keep the field at that level.
He will also continue to serve as the school's driver's education teacher. That's also good, because a beginning driver needs someone with the patience of Fore's in the passenger's seat as they take the wheel for the first time.
Fuqua School president Ruth Murphy said in the school's release Fore's “deep knowledge of athletics, rich experience, and the close relationships he has developed with coaches across Virginia, especially those within our conference, are invaluable.”
Invaluable. She's 100 percent correct.
One can also assimilate that his work on the fields and behind the wheel with first-time drivers is invaluable as well.
How many injuries have been saved because of his tireless work on those fields? How many tragedies have been averted because of some sage advice he's given to teenagers over the years?
Of course, as is the case with all teachers, those teens have to put those lessons into practice, but again, it's impossible to quantify.
Still, one has to wonder, with all of those invaluable qualities, why was Fore reassigned in the first place?
Prince Edward Academy/Fuqua School has been lucky to have a man with the character of Fore for nearly 50 years.
It should be grateful to still have that same man, and more importantly his same invaluable character going forward.
For as long as he can give back to the school and community he so loves.