Ms. Sofia Dattilio
When fall and spring sports start to approach, the maintenance crew, made up of Nate Miner, Paul Hadd, Dylan Raymond and Tom Mungeon, has a big responsibility of preparing the fields for all of the games that will be played. This takes approximately half a day to accomplish.
Dan Shepardson, Director of Student Activities says, “They work 6am-3pm, so they can’t work on fields after games because it would be considered over time.”
Mowing, weed-eating, applying topsoil, seeding and aerating the soil are all components that go into making sure the fields are ready to go for game time. This ends up being very labor intensive for the maintenance crew.
Shepardson says, “At the beginning of the sports season, it takes longer to prepare the fields because you have to draw in the lines, but after that, it doesn’t take much to run the painter down the lines.” On average, maintenance will draw in lines twice a week.
One problem that the maintenance crew faces is leveling low spots that develop on the fields. It takes a while to make sure the field is even throughout. A bigger problem they face is when the fields become soaked from rain. Athletes are encouraged to stay off the sports fields when they are wet. “Maintenance constantly tries their best to get athletes out on the field to play sports fields turn into a mud pit when they are used excessively when wet,” says Shepardson. The maintenance crew does whatever it takes to make sure that athletes will be happy with the outcome of the field. However, on occasion, there is nothing to do other than wait it out until the fields are dry.
“Last summer, an excessive drainage system was installed on C-field to help remove the excess water. Other fields are pitched to drain excess rainwater,” says Tom Mongeon.
Nate Miner, another member of the maintenance crew explains that, “In the springtime, adding conditioner like clay to the baseball and softball fields help maintain them to make sure they are playable. When the fields get too wet, the clay clumps up and sticks to players cleats which makes the field worse and [the] players unhappy.”
Once the spring season finishes up, the maintenance crew will be core-aerating areas where the ground has hard compaction from excessive use. Over the summer, general lawn maintenance is done which is usually just mowing, mowing, and more mowing.