Sean Moore, a senior outside linebacker on Eastern York High School's football team, can't wait for the first home game Friday night against Columbia.
"This is going to be a huge game," Moore said. "We want to go out there and give everybody a good show."
Part of the show this season will include seeing how Eastern's athletic teams handle the school's new turf field, which was installed over the summer and is ready for play.
Resurfacing the track and installing a turf field have been a contentious topic in the district since 2010, with some people hesitant to pay the estimated $800,000 price tag.
But the turf is in place, with many high school teams already excited to be using the surface. The girls' field hockey team hosted a game in the stadium last Tuesday, and the boys' and girls' soccer teams have used it for back-to-back practices this week.
That's not to mention the practices and scrimmages the football team has held in the stadium to prepare for Friday's game.
The difference: Christian Buser, a senior defensive end, said the turf surface allows for a much faster game. Moore agreed, and said making cuts during plays was much easier.
Senior cornerback Justin Keller mentioned the turf's surface is sometimes warmer than the surrounding temperature.
But Keller said the temperature won't be a factor during game day, even if it is warmer.
"There will be too much adrenaline going through us," Keller said.
Richard Brubaker, the varsity football coach, said the players will be safer because the surface will be consistent, without any holes or divots to cause injury. Brubaker also said he hopes the team's excitement about the new turf will give the players extra cause to prepare for games.
"I think they take a certain amount of pride in it," Brubaker said.
Brubaker said games can be played much better in inclement weather on the new surface, which will decrease the costs incurred for canceled games.
From the ground: The actual construction of the turf field took only a few months, but the field will require continued care to keep the "new field" sheen.
Timothy Mitzel, the principal of Eastern York High School, said a "spreader," which looks like a street cleaner, will come in every six to eight weeks to redistribute the rubber pellets that get displaced during the field's use. The maintenance on the field isn't more than before, but Mitzel said it does take a different form.
All play: The football team is not the only one noticing the faster speeds and admiring the new field. Keenan Schaeffer, the varsity boys' soccer coach, said the surface allows for less friction between the ball and the ground, which makes for a faster-paced game.
Schaeffer also said the consistent surface allows the team to anticipate how the soccer ball will bounce on the ground, which gives them an advantage over teams who aren't used to playing on a synthetic surface.
Senior Andrew Wells, a captain and forward on the boys' soccer team, said the turf ensures the playing field will be smooth -- even if it has rained or the football team just finished its practice.
Wells also said having the chance to be the first seniors on the soccer team to play on the turf is an amazing opportunity. He said the pride in the community about the field inspires him to be at the peak of his game.
"It means you want to play your hardest," Wells said. "To represent what they gave you."
Nikelle Snader can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.