It’s a long fly ball to right and it’s headed for Juniata Street.
“What?” you might say.
Well, as part of the new Havre de Grace High and Middle School construction, a piece of phase two is a makeover of Tomahawk Field, the softball piece, that is.
The easiest way to figure what the new site will look like is to think about it the way Harford County Public Schools project manager Harry Miller explains.
"Tomahawk is getting re-oriented, so right now the backstop is sort of at, if you’re standing on Juniata the backstop is at 7 o’clock, “Miller said. “Now, the backstop is going to be like at 11 o’clock.”
So, an extremely long ball to right might just find Juniata Street, but probably not likely.
“It will be a full, competition softball field. Fence, everything,” Miller said. “Just like the boys baseball field, it’s a full competition field. It has the warning track, the high fence, the whole nine yards.” The baseball field Miller references is located behind the new high-middle school complex.
The field is a 200-foot pure competition softball field, complete with warning track, team benches and the high fencing.
Construction survey stakes are visible on the current softball field and also on the Old Harris football field as well.
The project could have started in the fall of 2019, but that didn’t happen. Then COVID-19 and its issues came along and the project was on hold.
Under normal circumstances, a spring high school sports season starts March 1 or so. Miller says on the timeline, this renovation would not be ready.
A current schedule, which my change again or even be canceled, has a start date of April 17. Miller says that’s a better date and it might be more accommodating.
“Tomahawk is supposed to be sodded and the intent was, Tomahawk would be available for spring sports, that was always the intent,” Miller said. “And we were gonna do the big roll sod, and as you know, that means March 1.”
Miller knows that the sod will not be ready on March 1. “That’s impossible, it’s not going to right and ready,” Miller said.
As for the football part of the fields, which has been known as Tomahawk Field, James R. Harris and more recently old Harris Field, it will essentially disappear as part of the field is not property of Harford County Public Schools.
That field was home to all three Warriors Class C state championship football teams; 1978, 1981 and 1986. The 1981 championship was won on that field, 27-12, over Middletown in front of a few thousand fans.
The light towers closest to the softball field are on school property, while the two standing across the field are not. Regardless, all four light standards are coming down.
“Those are like ancient, you can’t get replacement parts and stuff like that for them and a bunch of the bulbs are burned out,” Miller said. “So, as part of my project, I’ve been tasked to remove those and two of those lights are not on my property.”
Heather Crawford, the athletic director at Havre de Grace High School, is pleased, anxious and thankful.
“I am excited to have a competition softball field at Tomahawk,” Crawford said. “We appreciate Havre de Grace Little League for allowing us to use Stancill all these years, but it will be nice to host softball/baseball games at our own school when sports return.”
And Crawford points out the real importance of the repositioning of the field. “The field will be rotated to diminish sun glare for the players and as well, all new backstops, fencing and benches will be installed,” Crawford added.