By Doug Gorman
There's still plenty of work to be done, but once the project is completed, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy athletic director Scott Queen promises the new track and football field will be state of the art.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, Eagle's Landing Christian is on the verge of getting a rubberized track to replace the old blacktop surface.
Also in the works at ELCA is brand new turf for the football stadium which will be installed in plenty of time for the Chargers' opening football game against county rival Henry County on Aug. 28.
"We take track and field very seriously and we take football very seriously, and we have so many teams that use this field, we were really tearing it up, and we wanted to get this thing done correctly," Queen said.
In addition to the high school teams at ELCA, middle school and Upward youth soccer programs through the Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church also take advantage of the stadium facilities.
"We have been trying to do this for years, and like everything else it takes money; you just realize it is probably not going get done this year, We had spent a little money on fertilizer, then all of a sudden, we got an anonymous donor, and boom, there it was. God as been so good, but once we let him take charge, every thing really fell into place."
Assistant head of schools Chuck Gilliam wants the entire church and school community to benefit from the stadium and track.
"We feel so blessed considering the economy," said Gilliam. "We see this as an extension of the classroom and are excited about the possibilities."
Queen admits he can't wait to see the finished product.
"Now it's hard to be patient," Queen said. "Sometimes, I wish I could be gone for two or three weeks and it would be done when I get back. I look out my window every day and it's hard to be patient. They say it will be done by the Henry County opener and it will be great to open up with this first ball game."
Queen, who also coaches track at ELCA, can't wait for his runners to compete on the new track.
"Our goal is to host county meets and county championships," he said. "We are going to host the region championship this year. Once you get that rubber track down, everybody kind of gravitates to you and wants to have meets here."
Queen says there's a big difference from running on a black-top track and a rubber surface.
"When you are running on asphalt every day, shin splints are bad," he said. "When you fall down it is going to hurt. When you get a rubber track, it is going to cut down on injuries drastically."
The new track and turf at ELCA is an extension of the success the school has enjoyed since joining the Georgia High School Association in 2004.
ELCA has won three straight softball titles, a baseball title, a state swimming title and made the football playoffs several times.
"God has blessed our school in so many ways," Gilliam said. "We are excited about this, everything is falling into place."