Marietta, Walker and North Cobb Christian are now the only remaining Cobb County schools with natural fields.
Shaw Sports Turf finished installing a synthetic turf field in late March with blue-and-white checkerboard patterns in both end zones.
While Mount Paran’s soccer and lacrosse teams were the first that got to play on the field, the football team will get its first feel of the artificial turf when spring practice begins in May.
“It’s going to be great for spring practice,” Mount Paran athletic director and football coach Mitch Jordan said. “One thing I talked about with the players was that practicing on your game field will give you more of a realistic look on what it will be like on Friday nights.”
Jordan said a huge advantage of practicing on artificial turf is that yard lines and hash marks will be more visible. And when the Eagles are working on red-zone and goal-line situations, he said the field will be better marked, making drills feel more like a real-game situation.
It was time for a change when Mount Paran’s field kept becoming difficult to maintain after being used year-round by both the high school and middle school football, soccer and lacrosse teams.
Behind donations from two Mount Paran families who Jordan declined to reveal, Shaw, which also installed similar fields at Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, LSU, Arkansas and for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, gave Mount Paran its new playing surface.
Mount Paran’s field is also technically advanced under Shaw’s new PowerBlade Bolt system. The grass fibers are built in a lightning-bolt shape that purports to have increased durability than other surfaces.
“Approximately 71 percent of Mount Paran’s students participate in athletics and they consistently show their commitment to their athletic programs,” Shaw Sports Turf territory manager Jim Watts said in a release.
Watts added that Shaw looked “forward to watching the Eagles’ success on this field for years to come.”