Lisa and Matt Cain: Let parents raise money for woeful athletic fields

  • Amherst Regional High School

Friday, May 24, 2019
Let parents raise money for athletic fields

Superintendent Mike Morris knows that the combination of another wet season and overused fields in need of remediation or replacement have contributed to an extremely difficult situation for the Amherst Regional High School athletics program.

The May 15 Gazette article titled “ARHS playing field damaged for sports teams,” by Scott Merzbach, (see Bulletin, page 5) noted the conditions of the athletic fields. It accurately represents the situation and reports that new turf fields are in the master plan for the town. However, that plan has not been approved and will not start until 2022.

What are the town and schools going to do about the state of the fields before they are renovated?

The fields at Amherst High School and Middle School (as well as Fort River) are used by various sports teams including soccer, field hockey, softball, football, baseball, lacrosse, track and field, cross country and ultimate Frisbee. They are also are used by LSEE summer camps.

They have become unsafe for our athletes because of uneven surfaces, patchy grass, and holes and our children have been injured as a result of their condition. Tournaments, practices and games scheduled for the fields have been canceled, creating a crisis where our athletes have nowhere to play.

The parents, coaches and athletes deserve decent playing fields. We pay for athletics with fees, do fundraisers to support our teams and spend many hours supporting our athletes.

We suggest a course of action that allows the school to seek outside help for the athletic fields. Amherst High School athletic fields should have the same agreement as the baseball fields with the town. A 2015 memorandum of understanding between Amherst Baseball and the town allows parents and players to help create a safe and playable field.

Please let Amherst Regional School District parents raise money for better tools, more sheds, family work days, community and business sponsorships, and create a holistic strategy for field management.

The fields are in serious need of maintenance and the health of our athletes depends on it.

Lisa and Matt Cain, Abby Dallman, Alan Kellman, Vikki Lenhart, Maria and Joe Polino, Pat and Sue Schilling, Stu Shuman