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Boy Scout, church members bring horseshoe pits to Galt

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Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 12:00 am

When Tyson Dobernick, a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 598, was looking for a project to earn his Eagle Scout award, he planned to head to McFarland Living History Ranch. After all, he said, that’s where most of Galt’s Scouts turn for community service projects.

Then someone mentioned that the city of Galt needed four horseshoe pits built at Walker Park.

The construction portion of the project took three work days, or roughly 13 to 14 hours, according to Dobernick.

“We put a lot of work in outside of those days,” he said.

The 2013 graduate of Liberty Ranch High School had some help; about a dozen members of the Galt Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, which he attends, pitched in.

They built eight wooden frames for each end of the pits, before moving on to level out the ground, then measure 40 yards from stick to stick. Then came the hard part — literally, Dobernick said.

The crew had to use a drilling machine to hammer the wooden pit backstops into the hard ground.

Did he think the undertaking would be that difficult?

“Well, no,” he said.

But it all paid off during a recent trek to the park to show his work off to his visiting grandmother. While there, they saw two older men playing horseshoes. The men told Dobernick’s father that they’d played horseshoes for some 30 years, and the pit was one of the best they had ever played on.

“They said they usually go to Lodi, so it’s nice they can stay home and play,” Dobernick said.

City staff worked closely with him to coordinate and complete the pits for last month’s inaugural Country in the Park event. Dobernick said there were “tons” of people using the pits during the event’s horseshoe tournament.

City Manager Jason Behrmann said Drobernick and his team did a great job completing the project ahead of the event.

Dobernick, who is getting ready for his first church mission trip, had helped with other service projects, but this was his first time being in charge. He credits his project coach, Steve Koeppel, with helping to see the horseshoe pits to completion.

“I’m very glad I took this on, and glad the city gave me the opportunity,” Dobernick said. “The city was planning to do this, but wanted someone else to take it on. It felt good to do something to give back.”

Dobernick has lived in Galt for nine years with his parents, Joshua and Jennifer, and three younger siblings.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodi-news.com.

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