There’s no shortage of verbiage for the members of the Seymour soccer program when it comes to their new home.
Monday, the Owls’ girls and boys squads took to their turf field for the first time after months of watching the process from across the teacher’s parking lot.
“It was more surreal than anything,” Seymour varsity girls coach Greg Musser said.
“We’ve been sitting in our classrooms watching — for however many months — them work on the field. The moment we were able to put our boots on and go to work, it was surreal for all of us.”
Story continues below gallery
The bleachers, press box, lighting, goal posts and field are all set while the finishing touches are taking place with the practice field, the doors on the 10-foot fence that surrounds the field and parking lot adjacent to the baseball field.
From the start, Musser has noticed the small differences between playing on the turf and at Freeman Field from a coaching standpoint.
“It’s a true surface,” Musser said. “You don’t have any bad bounces. When we came out for the first time, we did some simple passing drills and you noticed that everything looked crisper. We didn’t have to worry about bad hops. It plays fast, but not as fast as a multi-surface turf field. It will play quicker but more like a Bermuda-type grass.”
For incoming senior Kayla Griffin, the play on the new surface also has transitioned well.
“It was really exciting to come out here. It’s something we’ve never had before and it’s easy for people to come out and support us,” Griffin said. “The biggest difference is the ball moves a lot faster, and there’s no tricky bounces. I think it will be easier to judge where the ball is going to go.”
During a team practice Tuesday morning, Owls boys head Matt Dennis had the footballers working on multiple passing drills.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” Dennis said on the field. “It will match well with how our team will play. The boys are excited. It has been a long time since we’ve been excited for reasons other than soccer.”
Dennis said that the turf is nicer than most away surfaces that have similar facilities.
“It’s surprising to me how slow it plays,” he said. “It plays slower than I would have imagined. It plays faster than grass, but the fact that it is a little slower will help a little bit. On a surface like this, we’re going to play to feet a lot.
We will possess well. By playing to feet, we won’t have as many balls go out of bounds. If we do decide to play a through ball, it’s nice because it won’t go ahead as fast. When we play on turf now, we play at football turfs — which are very, very fast.”
Brantley Adams, an incoming senior and captain, hopes the surface will play to the team’s advantage.
“We have a lot of new guys, so I hope we adjust to the surface pretty quickly,” he said. “I think we will (adjust) because we’re going to be out here working on playing on it — it will be a huge advantage for us.”
A purple and white scrimmage, an event open to the public, will take place on 9 a.m. Aug. 13.
The boys and girls teams will alternate with four 40-minutes halves before a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the school board.
On Aug. 16, the boys will play the inaugural game on the field in their season opener against Brown County with the junior varsity starting at 5 p.m. before the varsity game at 6:30 p.m.
Dennis said he expects a huge turnout for the first home match.
“There are going to be a ton of alumni that I played with in the late 90s and guys who started the program from the early 90s,” Dennis said. “There are families coming from out of town and club teams coming. It will be a huge crowd to break this place open.”
The girls team will play their first two games on the road at Providence and Silver Creek before showing off their new digs against Scottsburg on Aug. 25.