The adage “Home Sweet Home,” will have special meaning for Bel Air and Edgewood high schools. Both schools will play their first game in their new field turf stadiums Friday evening.

Edgewood is hosting county rival Aberdeen in football while Bel Air welcomes Franklin in a non-league contest.  A third field turf, at Havre de Grace, is set to debut late September.

The fields at Bel Air and Aberdeen were part of a multi-year reconstruction of both school buildings. Havre de Grace, Edgewood and Bel Air will join North Harford and Harford Tech with field turf on their main outdoor facility.

“There’s nothing like looking out and seeing a new field,” said Ken Zorbach, supervisor of athletics for Harford County. “From the county standpoint, you won’t have rainouts with these fields.”

Bel Air will have the largest field turf surfaces of the five Harford County schools, with no 400-meter track in the stadium. The track that circled Bel Air’s previous stadium, Al Cesky Field, was rehabbed last year.  The new facility has seating for approximately 2,200, a press box, concession stand, ticket booth and several bathrooms.

Edgewood fieldIn November, Bel Air will host the Class 2A state boys’ and girls’ soccer semifinals. Zorbach said the state athletic association is targeting schools with turf field for fall state semifinals and finals competition.

“We want people to come to Harford County,” said Zorbach. He added there’s no immediate plans for field turf at any of the remaining five schools.

The installation at Havre de Grace has been behind schedule, and the football team’s season opener with Perryville Sept. 10 will be played at a neutral site. Bel Air and Edgewood’s football, field hockey, cross country and soccer teams had to manage practicing and playing at different area venues the last three seasons.

“There were no complaints. Everybody knew what had to be done,” said Bel Air athletic director and field hockey coach Phyllis Hemmes, whose field hockey played all its game at the opponents’ home. “From parks and rec, to the coaches and players, everyone was willing to lend a hand.”

“In the end, Bel Air and Edgewood has a building that’s high tech and meet all expectations,” said Zorbach. “It’s what a school should be.”