The West Babylon High School football team spent the entire 2015 season on the road before christening a new field for homecoming festivities on Saturday.
West Babylon had been road warriors through the first six games as construction finished up on a new synthetic turf field that was approved by voters in January as part of a $29.9 million capital project bond referendum aimed at improving facilities throughout the district.
The old grass field at Matthew Wilensky Athletic Field was torn up in late June, and the district managed to get the new turf completed in time for the homecoming celebration in the Eagles’ second-to-last regular season game against Huntington.
It marked the one and only game West Babylon would play before the home fans this fall, with the Eagles set to close their season again on the road at Half Hollow Hills East in Dix Hills.
“It was important to get the field done in time for the homecoming game," said West Babylon athletic director Lou Howard. “We had to stay on top to make sure everything was done on time."
In addition to football, the new turf field is also being utilized for West Babylon’s soccer, field hockey and lacrosse teams. The field will also be available for community groups.
“It worked out nicely that the field could be ready for homecoming,” said West Babylon school superintendent Yiendhy Farrelly, who with school board trustees cut a ribbon, ceremonially opening the new turf before prior kickoff. “I’m excited and thrilled for our students.”
The durability of the multiuse field was on full display Saturday when just an hour-and-a-half after the homecoming game ended, West Babylon’s girls soccer team hosted Sachem East in a first-round playoff game.
The football game, which Huntington won 40-14, provided an opportunity for senior players, cheerleaders and marching band members to perform before a home crowd one last time.
“This homecoming meant a lot more since it was the only home game of the season,” said West Babylon senior cheerleader captain Juliette Morrison. “It made it extra special.”