The Ocean CIty Red Raiders Marching Band practices drills on the high school’s new synthetic turf field. Ocean City has re-defined the term “home turf.”The new and much-anticipated synthetic turf playing surface is now in use at Ocean City High School’s Carey Stadium, and the early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.The Red Raiders football squad broke in their new field last Friday in very impressive fashion against Eastern Regional High of Voorhees, Camden County. According to the OC Red Raiders Football Association’s Facebook page, a nice crowd looked on as Andrew Donaghue went 7-for-12 passing for 107 yards and running back Anthony Kenny broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown the first time he touched the ball.The Red Raiders football squad broke in their new field last Friday in very impressive fashion.The Association reported the Raiders’ offensive production was twice that of the visiting Vikings in the pre-season action.The next day, Rowan University played its annual “Brown and Gold” football scrimmage at Carey. The Profs’ head coach Jay Accorsi told the Press of Atlantic City he liked the field so much that he wanted to arrange a future “home” game in Ocean City.After passing the initial football tests, the field was turned over to recreational use over the weekend. On Tuesday, OCNJDaily paid a late-morning visit when the Red Raider Marching Band was practicing formations, and some visitors tried out the surface as well.Jonathan Rich of Pennington, Mercer County, took a timeout from a shuffleboard game with sons Ethan, 9, and Holden, 5, to check out the new field.“It’s pretty cool..its easier to run on than regular grass,” Ethan said.Jonathan said it was the first time he saw a field with the tan-colored cork infill pellets. “It makes the field look more like a real grass field.”The cork is also sustainable, non-toxic and recyclable, according to the website of the turf’s manufacturer, Field Turf. The infill gives the synthetic grass its texture, cushions the surface and cools it on warmer days, the product’s website says.“I like it, it’s a nice even surface,” High School Band Director Donna Schwartz said. “The City did an excellent job of maintaining the old field, but sometimes after bad weather you had to deal with mud or slush. That’s not an issue anymore. It feels safe. There’s nice cushioning to it.”Morgan McLees, 16, a junior alto sax player, said she was looking forward to the band’s first performance, the September 23 home football opener against Cedar Creek. “The (painted) lines show a lot better, its much brighter, which makes it easier (to march and drill).”OCHS Band Director Donna Schwatz with Band President Celvin Pelaez and Vice President Morgan McLees.The field is marked with lines for football, soccer, and lacrosse. A huge “OC” logo adorns the 50-yard line.Published reports said the total cost of the field was $1.2 million including $494,721 for materials and $449,900 for installation.Band President Celvin Pelaez, a 17-year-old senior tuba and sousaphone player said the new field was a source of pride. “I’m proud of the new field and we are going to look great on it in our new uniforms,” he said.the OC logo adorns midfield of the new Field Turf surfaceEd Hoban, a passer-by from Mays Landing diverted his walk around the neighborhood to check out the field. “It’s amazing, they did a great job. It looks like a real turf field.”The lone dissenting voice came from Sagan Medved, 18, a high school senior visiting town from East Hampton, Connecticut.“The (cork pellets) get into your shoes and socks,” he said. “I prefer natural turf.” However, his friend Hunter Brazal, 17, also from East Hampton, begged to differ. “It’s fun to play on. I like it.”Cork infill “pebbles” give the turf its texture and a realistic look.