Justin McNulty ‘20: Anyone who has lived in the Romeo area, or who has followed Romeo Varsity football throughout the years, knows that Romeo was one of the last districts in the state that didn’t have a turf field. While some have said that the muddy, grass field was “our little secret weapon” when road teams traveled to Barnabo field, that recently ended as the Bulldogs played their first home game of the year last Friday, on the newly renovated field.
At the end of last season, an 86 million dollar bond made the turf a reality for the Bulldogs. Over the course of the summer, construction crews from Barton Malow, have been designing, digging, and remodeling Barnabo field. At this point, they have successfully laid down and put in place the full length turf, expanded the home bleachers, and even built a newly improved press box.
There seems to be a buzz around the school and community about the construction of what some are calling “New Barnabo.” People have many different opinions about the new field. There’s the alumni and many community members who, as previously stated, though playing on grass provided the bulldogs with an unique edge that some consider an advantage.
“It provided a psychological advantage, especially with bad, muddy weather,” Co-head Coach Curt Rienas said.
While muddy fields have been beneficial in certain situations, it also harmed the Dawgs.
“Overtime, I truly feel there have been several games we would have won if we had played on a dry surface,” Rineas added, when asked how turf would benefit this program.
Including the coaches, many players in the football program feel ecstatic about this new opportunity.
“Being able to perform at a high level in front of our home crowd was always special, but being able to do it on this new field will only increase the excitement for gametime,” Joe Easterwood ‘19, a varsity D-lineman said.Although the turf field was a great step forward, reconstruction only started this past summer, so more advancements are to come. Next summer, the district plans to renovate the locker rooms and bathrooms along with putting new concessions into place.
It is unknown if the most recent installment of the sports facilities will impact this team, but as of now, they are focusing on the season ahead and looking to defend their Regional Championship.