New turf, refurbished track part of renovations at Baldwin Stadium

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Friday, August 2, 2019 | 6:32 PM


It was time for a summer facelift.

Baldwin Stadium has a new and refreshed look to it, accented with a deep, rich purple color.

By the end of July, new stadium turf — with new logos from the district — and a new surrounding asphalt sidewalk had been installed.

The final step of the project was the installation of a refurbished eight-lane track encircling the field.

Aesthetically, one of the most dramatic changes to the field is the light green/dark green turf that alternates every 10 yards.

The name “Baldwin” also is featured in both end zones; the field previously displayed “Baldwin” at one end and “Highlanders” at the opposite end.

And a large, more vibrant “B-W” purple-and-white logo is at midfield, again accented by a deep, rich purple sideline box on both sides of the field.

“I think the impact of the new turf field and track surface will be felt by the entire Baldwin-Whitehall school community,” said John Saras, assistant principal and athletics coordinator at Baldwin. “Yes, the athletic programs at the high school that utilize those facilities will thoroughly enjoy (them). But the Baldwin-Whitehall community will also enjoy the new facilities within our youth and community organizations.”

The project commenced in mid-June. Shaw Sports Turf installed the new “grass;” Nagle Athletic Services worked on the eight-lane track.

“In speaking with the representative from Shaw Sports Turf, the purple color is brand new, and we are one of the first ones to have it on our surface,” Saras said. “As for the track surface, we continue to have a facility that is of the highest quality.”

Other renovation items include replacing the fence surrounding the field (with an updated drainage system) and an underground electrical system (the unsightly sideline electrical box was removed).

“Athletics at Baldwin continue to grow and get better,” Saras said. “These facilities allow for us to showcase our district and the resources we have to continue the excitement of athletics.”

For the athletes, the field has a softer surface and more bounce to it than its predecessor.

The Fighting Highlanders’ first home game is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 13 against conference foe Moon.

Third-year coach Loran Cooley said the stadium turf is awe-inspiring, and he anxiously awaits for his team’s home opener.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “I truly see the commitment on improving our facilities for our student-athletes. I know the place will be rocking when we play Moon.”

One of the many integral players on the 2019 squad at Baldwin will be Dorien Ford, a 6-foot-4, 287-pound junior defensive tackle. Ford was one of 25 players selected to the Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team.

Ford is delighted about the new look of the field and is excited to play at his home stadium.

“I think it’s really nice,” he said, “and we also have some nice uniforms. So now we have to do what I know we can do, such as win.”

A first-team all-conference selection at defensive end, Ford has had an engaging summer vacation.

The Baldwin gridder has received many Division I scholarship offers, including from Pitt, Penn State, Maryland, Syracuse and Nebraska, along with Akron, Ball State, Howard, Iowa State, Toledo and Robert Morris.

Others that expressed an early interest in Ford include Michigan State, West Virginia, Bowling Green, Florida and Stanford.

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