After two seasons as the head coach at Bel Air, Marc Alegi cannot wait for Sept. 4, 2010 – the program's first home game after three years on the road.
There's only one problem -- no opponent!
Bel Air was supposed to open with Franklin, but Franklin recently accepted a Week 1 contest with Linganore, leaving the Bobcats literally home alone.
"After three years on the road, we're really looking forward to a home game," Alegi said. "There's real excitement about it."
Alegi attributes a spike in out-of-season weight room attendance to the fact Bel Air will have a new facility to showcase this fall.
Bel Air has been under a major rebuilding program, which put the stadium out of commission prior to the 2007 season. During the 2007 football season, the stadium field was used as parking for heavy equipment involved in the renovation. In 2008 and 2009, the rebuilding has basically flip-floped the facility with the new stadium builts on the grounds of the former Bel Air High School tech wing, and the new school building located where the athletic fields used to exist.
Bel Air will have a turf field, but it is not expected to be complete until late summer, which raises some concerns.
"We hope to practice on it before playing on it," Alegi said. "But we'll see."
For now, though, Alegi is not sure who Bel Air will face in that opener. He has started contacting schools around the state for a replacement for Franklin.
This year's seniors will be the first senior class to have a home game since the Class of 2007, and Alegi has a few players worth watching. Cavin (pronounced "Kevin") Murphy is getting the most interest as a 6-foot-3, 240-pound tight end/defensive end. Dezmond Hall is a 6-1, 175-pound tailback/linebacker and Steve Hemming is a 6-1, 195-pound middle linebacker. Hemming has been an honorable mention all-state pick the past two seasons.
The Pointers have a player that colleges are beginning to notice.
Sparrows Point coach Glenn Imirie said junior two-way tackle Drew Clark is receiving early interest. Clark stands 6-3, 250, and that's after cutting weight to make the wrestling team.
Southwestern coach James Ballentine is not looking past 2010, but he smiles when he does.
"I feel real good about (next year's) junior class," Ballentine said.
Current sophomore defensive linemen Daniel Johnson (6-2, 220) and James Arnold (5-11, 245) will be the players to watch in a program that has struggled over the past decade.