By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
STILLWATER, Okla. – Friday morning, just over 24 hours before Bedlam kickoff, Oklahoma State’s Snow Force One went into action.
As flurries floated through the air, there was about three inches of snow on the turf at Boone Pickens Stadium. Led by associate athletic director/game day operations Marty Sargent, the plan was put into action.
When fans started filing into the stadium Saturday morning, the field was clear and there was barely enough white stuff to build a snowman.
Sargent was assisted by Shan Rains, a supervisor of athletics facilities maintenance, and facilities coordinator Debbie McCarthy. They tracked the Weather Channel all week and once the snow fell, it was time to act. About a dozen employees plus a number of volunteers went to work.
Three tractors pushed the snow to a corner of the field and from there it was trucked out. Outside the stadium, the snow was piled on grass surfaces and then melted with hot water.
With the help of social media, volunteers showed up to assist. Members of the band and other student organizations were asked to help.
“It's such a huge area that we need everybody's help,” McCarthy told The Oklahoman.
An ice melting compound was used in the stands and walk ways. Removing the snow from the rows of the 60,000-seat stadium required shovels, brooms, snow blowers and leaf blowers.
“Our motto today is every row, every step,” Garehtte Casper told The Oklahoman. “In a 60,000 seat stadium that's a lotta rows and a lotta steps.”
The winter storm closed the school Friday and that allowed for easier clearing of parking lots.
Skies were clear for kickoff between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Game time temperature was 16 degrees with a wind chill of 3. The snow from Friday was not a factor.