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Belleville Baseball and Softball Fields Get Updates


September 17, 2020

Photo courtesy of Wayne Fell

Community members combined their efforts and a variety of resources to improve the baseball and softball fields at the Belleville High School.

Last spring, several community members used their resources to improve the baseball and softball fields at the Belleville High School.

"It was a pleasure to help improve the quality of the high school fields. As coaches, we teach players to come prepared to play or practice, work hard, give it your best, set goals, and work to achieve them. I believe that as adults, it is our responsibility to give the players the proper tools to achieve those goals and decent quality fields are part of that responsibility," said Patrick McKinley, one of the project organizers and who has also improved the athletic fields that are used by youth programs at Community Park and Sugar River Park. "It was frustrating, however, to put all of the work into the fields and then the fields were not used this last season."

McKinley added that his current job has provided the opportunity to learn about turf management and sports field maintenance.

"I think this project, and if you look at the condition of the stadium field, Steve O'Connor has done a fantastic job improving the turf stand and demonstrates that when made a priority, it is very realistic to have top quality fields for student athletes," said McKinley, who grew up in Fitchburg, graduated from Edgewood High School and earned a Bachelor's Degree from UW-Stevens Point.

"I enjoy every aspect of youth sports," said McKinley. "I played sports throughout my childhood and have seen the positive impact it can have on young people's lives."

McKinley contacted Profile Products, a company that supplies field amendments, and the owners donated the turf top dress material to help with moisture management for the infield skin, helps improve the playability of the field, and is visually appealing.

Other community members and groups who contributed to the projects include: Shawn Gratz, Griffin Rear, Wayne Fell, Steve O'Connor, Belleville Sports Boosters, Youth Baseball, Youth Softball, and the School District of Belleville.

This project was a combined effort from a variety of resources that came together to help improve the high school baseball and softball fields during a two-year period.

Marian Viney

"Patrick McKinley is a great resource to have living in our community and helped with giving direction as to what needed to be done to both fields," said Athletics and Activities Director and Community Education and Recreation Director Wayne Fell. "In the next month or two, the softball field will have the final work done on the infield including edging the entire infield and topdressing with a new infield mix of red limestone. This will give the softball infield the fall and winter seasons to settle the infield mix and have the field ready for next spring and summer."

Fell added the school district certainly appreciates the donation of time, supplies, and work by these individuals and community groups.

"Hopefully we hear, 'play ball' next spring," said Fell.


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