TAMPA — For the past couple of weeks, Carrollwood Day School has run routes and dropped tackling dummies next to their brand-new football stadium. They desperately wanted to hit the field, but some procedural paperwork and a ribbon cutting stood in the way."In a way, it was like a big tease," CDS interim coach and former Buccaneer Mark Jones said with a chuckle.The wait is over.CDS will run onto its own campus field Friday for the first time in program history as the Patriots host Foundation Academy at 7 p.m.For senior Ryan Verscharen, the moment is a long time coming."It's weird to think about because I remember shadowing CDS my eight-grade year and wondering where's the field and where's the gym," he said. "They told us to just hold on and they'd have it there one day. And now it's time."The stadium, which features a state-of-the-art turf field, will also house baseball and soccer. But football is every school's big draw, and quarterback Ray Woodie said he expects a big turnout."The whole school is going to be able to come out and watch us," he said. "We finally have a true home field of our own."Over the past few years, CDS has played at various locations, including their current practice field, Skyway Park in Tampa, and Oscar Cooler Park in Lutz."A lot of times we really didn't have big crowds because to come watch our games at Skyway, kids would have to drive 25 to 30 minutes," Verscharen said. "Now it's all right here."Freshman Shelton Quarles hasn't had to wait long to christen the new field, but he said even just watching CDS games from the stands in years past didn't feel right."I didn't feel like I was ever watching a true home game," he said.The project also includes a new locker room, and combined with the gymnasium and weight room completed in the spring, CDS suddenly has athletic facilities to rival any in the county."Honestly I wasn't that confident (it would get completed by graduation)," Verscharen said. "But then this winter and spring when you started (to see) the trees come down and it all getting leveled, you could start imagining the turf and the stands and everyone there."The two projects cost more than $5.5 million, a fact not lost on Quarles and his teammates."It's a very humbling experience," he said. "It's so appreciated that all the families came together to contribute so much."It has been quite a month for Jones, who was promoted to interim head coach just three days before the Patriots' preseason game Aug. 19. Jones played for the Bucs from 2005 to 2007 and had been the Patriots' offensive coordinator."When you're the head guy, you have a lot of new responsibilities," Jones said. "But football is my passion and when your passion is in it, it's not work."The Patriots finished 7-4 last season and reached the 2A region semifinals. CDS is 1-1 in 2016 but Jones has liked what he has seen so far."We have some guys who can play," Jones said. "Now it's about trying to put the best 11 on the field who work together. Not necessarily the most talented, but the ones who are coachable, who want to learn and you can trust."Quarles said he can't wait for Friday. In the meantime, he, like most of his teammates, has ventured into the stadium ahead of the home opener to check out something they have never had — a true home."I walked out on it one time and it was one of the greatest feelings of my life," he said. "This puts CDS on the map."