PILLAGER — Friday night football games are wrapping up for the year and no one is more aware of the ending season than Terry Anderson.
For the last 12 years, Anderson has served quietly painting the lines on Pillager High School’s football field. “You don’t see many fields that look this good, Anderson said. “I take a lot of pride in what I do.”
Anderson said each season usually has four home games with the possibility of a couple of playoff games which means he devotes about 120 hours to painting the field over the three month season. Anderson has to carefully walk each yard line, the field perimeter, stencil the yard numbers and of course there’s the end zone. Anderson carefully carves the letters in Husky maroon and gold. “I hated my teachers for making me practice my penmanship,” Anderson joked. “And now look at me.”
Prior to painting the lines at Pillager, Anderson had the same job in Warren. He said over 18 years he’s prepped the field somewhere close to 100 times. But with his younger son, Kory graduating this year, Anderson thought it was a good opportunity to pass the mantle on to someone else. “It’s time,” he said.
Anderson and his family moved to Pillager 12 years ago when he took a job at the Pillager School as maintenance supervisor. Lining the football field was an added bonus to his new job. When the school laid off their grounds keeping staff seven years ago, Anderson lost his full-time job at the school, but asked if he could continue to take care of the football field. “I enjoy doing it,” he said. “They told me, ‘absolutely I could.’”
Anderson now works full-time for PepsiCo. His wife, Tina, continues to work at Pillager School in the school’s kitchen.
Anderson said painting the football field has become a family affair over the years. His kids, Kyle, a 2008 Pillager graduate, Kory, a senior, and Kayla a junior, have helped their dad mow and paint the lines over the years. “They begrudgingly did it at first,” Anderson said. “But I think it kind of wore on them.”
Anderson said finishing up his duties on the field haven’t really hit him yet. He said he think’s he will miss it, but the verdict is still out. “Not so much right now,” he said. “But when the season rolls around next year — I’m sure I’m going to miss it.”
Anderson said the last twelve years have flown by as evidenced by the aging of his children — all of whom were in elementary school when the family moved to Pillager. “They’ve gotten older but I haven’t,” he said. “The white in my beard is just overspray.”
SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5879.