It was good timing that the rejuvenation of Miamisburg football coincided with a district-wide push to upgrade the high school campus and its athletic facilities.
Historic Harmon Field still will be home to Vikings athletic programs, but not the high school football and upcoming lacrosse teams and possibly even soccer. Those teams will have a new nearly 6,000 capacity stadium on campus to call their own, Holland Field, beginning this fall.
“The new stadium is definitely a central piece of the community, the interest and the excitement in the community,” varsity football coach Steve Channell said Friday. “Harmon Field was such an old field and the stadium had a great history, but this is new and bigger and has (FieldTurf). People come out here all the time, especially in the evening to just walk around and look at it. They’re in amazement at how nice it is.”
Miamisburg is the latest area school to switch from natural grass to FieldTurf. Xenia also switched over last season and Chaminade Julienne will be outfitted with artificial turf when Roger Glass Stadium makes its debut on the Dayton campus this fall season.
Miamisburg’s field is named after alum and former Vikings coach Eudon Holland, who made a generous pledge of $500,000 to the project.
The stadium is still under construction, but enough has been completed to reveal the centerpiece of a massive athletic complex. It’s nestled between a grass practice field and softball diamond, baseball field and adjoining combination track and field oval and soccer field.
Parking was always an issue at Harmon Field, which opened in 1923 and was landlocked between homes on Seventh Street and Harmon Avenue. An estimated 900 parking spaces surround the campus, many the result of paving a giant grass practice field. In contrast, Harmon Field had just 110 parking spaces, according to school officials.
The home side of the new stadium will seat 3,500 and about half that much will be available for the visitor’s side. An additional end-zone band area bumps capacity seating to about 5,400.
The new stadium will have a distinct NASCAR look, although spectators won’t know it. The entire supporting structure and seating for both sides were previously installed at Daytona International Speedway. A 50,000-seat corner of the speedway was dismantled and turned into an RV park due to continued sagging race attendance.
The bleacher-like seating was marketed to county fairs, high schools, grandstands, small amphitheaters and other like structures nationwide. There are no armrests, but seatbacks will be in place. The home side support girders have been reassembled. Channell said the new-like seating is expected to begin arriving Monday. It was used at the speedway for just two years.
All that coincides with a spike in Vikings football and community interest. Miamisburg football had all but flat-lined prior to Channell taking over in 2012. Last year was the third straight in which Miamisburg (9-2) qualified for the Division I playoffs. Led by Ohio State University recruit Josh Myers, among the most sought-after offensive linemen in the nation, Miamisburg should contend for another postseason in 2016.
Miamisburg opens the football season on Aug. 26 at West Carrollton and will host CJ in its Week 2 home opener on Sept. 2. Miamisburg also has been realigned to the four-team Greater Western Ohio Conference National West Division, joining Northmont, Springboro and Lebanon.
“The connection we have with our players and parents and coaches right now is another big factor in our overall success,” Channell said. “And then the expectation to succeed is here at this point. On top of that you have a player like Josh Myers. There’s a lot of very good positive things going on and it’s just an exciting place to be right now.”