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A football field could ruin a baseball program

Date published: 11/12/2012

I have been following the discussions and proposed options regarding the Stafford High School relocation of athletic team practices and, in particular, the options to use the baseball field as a practice field for the football team. There are a few basic points that seem to be escaping our county and School Board representatives:

1. The sole reason the football team needs a practice field other than their regular field is that if they practiced on their football field, it would be destroyed. Look at the existing practice field; it's a dirt pit, which is what happens when you run that many cleated boys on a field for that many hours and days of the week.

2. Unlike any other field or sport at the school, the SHS Baseball Boosters, coaches, and players have invested countless hours, effort, and private funding (not county or school funding) to get the baseball field to where it is right now. We pay for and maintain the field, dugouts, batting cages, and surrounding area, not to mention uniforms and equipment.

3. There is no funding in the replacement school budget to build or rebuild the baseball field. It will be destroyed in a matter of weeks with a quick-fix to compensate for lack of planning.

4. SHS baseball is not over after the spring season. We regularly have three to four teams representing SHS in the Rappahannock Fall Baseball League. Practices and games are played on our field.

The baseball players and parents at SHS have done what the school and county wouldn't do for our baseball program. We have readily accepted this responsibility without complaint.

Using the baseball field for a football practice field will destroy years of work, and will collapse the volunteer support structure that has filled in the gaps in school, School Board, and county support for the program.

We're not asking the school or county to give us anything, we're just asking that they not destroy what we have worked so hard to establish and maintain.

Daniel Thomas