NUTLEY, NJ - It was a long time coming, but the Nutley Maroon Raiders play their first home game, and first game on the new turf field, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. The Oval, the quintessential center of the Township of Nutley, underwent a major renovation ahead of this season.
Planned for years, discussed in countless Nutley Board of Education meetings, and reported in bytes of TAPinto Nutley numerous times, the Oval renovation finally gets it time in the spotlight.
To the causal observer, it appears that "all they did was roll out new turf." The renovation was more than just surface appearances. Beneath the playing field is a web of drainage pipes to keep the field clear of water, and when the time comes, melting snow.
Above that plumbing structure is layers of rubber pellets that cushion the field. Anyone who had the opportunity to set foot on the field before the renovation may recall that it was like stepping on concrete covered with a layer of Astroturf. That field surface was used years beyond its original shelf life. Annoying drainage problems aside, the field was so hard it presented a serious injury hazard to players.
The new field is soft and spongy. Board of Education Trustee Lisa Danchak-Martin, who was present for the ribbon cutting, described it as "like walking on memory foam."
The Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Julie Glazer, Nutley Athletic Director Joe Piro and the Nutley Raiders Football Team gathered on the field October, 6, 202 the ribbon cutting ahead of what was to be the home opener. That game, scheduled for Oct. 10 against West Essex, was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns and the subsequent quarantine of some West Essex players.
Today's game will be the first game since Coach Steve DiGregorio was names "Football Coach of the Week by the NY Giants, the first game since the Raiders crush West Side in the Season Opener, and of course the first game on the team's new home field.
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners first named TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' in 2019.