Field is a dream come true
Jim Susens always had a dream that some day the Superior-Douglas County Pony League would have a football field it could call its own.
Even though Susens passed away a couple of years ago, that dream is now becoming a reality.
Thanks to funding of $20,000 from the City of Superior and $5,000 from various fundraising events, the James Susens Memorial Field is currently being constructed and is expected to be complete and ready for use next fall.
The field is located behind the Billings Park Civic Center, 3903 N. 18th Street (18th and New York Avenue). Also located behind the civic center are a hockey rink, softball field and volleyball court.
"Kimmes Construction is recrowning the field, then four inches of top soil, which is all seeded and fertilized, will be put on top," said Mike Susens, James' son. "Hopefully we'll get rain and it germinates this fall. If we would have done this over the summer, with the lack of rain, we'd have a dirt pile and $20,000 would have been wasted."
If the seed can still be placed this fall, it will be re-seeded again in the spring and will hopefully be ready for play next football season.
"Next year they'll have a beautiful field to play on and this will be a place that the Pony League can call its own," Mike Susens said.
The field is expected to also be used by the adult Superior Touch Football League on Sunday mornings and the Duluth-Superior Chargers lacrosse team for practice.
The STFL played on the same spot the past couple of years, but this year returned to the Wade Bowl football field.
The Chargers used to practice at that site, and currently play their home games at Public Schools Stadium in Duluth.
Others that may use the field are the YMCA flag football league and the newly formed Spartan Football League. Both leagues are for area grade school kids.
"I'd love to see all of it here, it would be a perfect match," Susens said. "This will be a 100-yard field and the younger kids can play at least three games at a time cross field."
The field will include goal posts, but bleachers, a scoreboard and lights are in future plans.
"Instead of paying to play on the fields they currently play on, and through more donations, we'll not only be able to get bleachers and a scoreboard, but also lights," said Susens. "Maybe some area businesses will come forward and help out."
As for Jim Susens, he was instrumental in the forming of the Superior-Douglas County Pony Football League nearly 30 years ago.
"When he started out the league didn't have any money and no equipment," Mike Susens said. "Through his hard work, as well as others and a number of donations, the league has thrived.
"He always wanted a place like this for the kids to play and next fall they will have just that."
NOTE: If interested in helping out with the new field, Mike Susens can be reached by phone at 390-4216.