Softball Field Underway At Pascack Hills


An original concept of the field which later was revised. Photo courtesy of Pascack Valley Regional High School District.

First, it’s a walk up a hill on West Grand Ave. featuring many busy intersection crossings and then a mile trek to Memorial School. No, this isn’t the daily work out for the track team, but  merely what it takes the Pascack Hills High School softball team just to get to practice everyday after school. While players may have to walk a mile for one more year, a new motion was passed this past spring to begin building Hills’ first female softball field-on campus.

After a quick, unanimous vote at a Board Of Education meeting on May 2, Superintendent Erik Gundersen ruled that during the spring of 2017, work for the new softball field would begin and be ready for the 2018 softball season. Current players and incoming freshmen sat in the seats of the Pascack Valley High School auditorium in orange, some even coming in their uniforms. For many players, parents, and coaches, this was the final pull in the tug-of-war match spanning several years.

For Coach Erin Curatola, the head coach of Hills softball for seven years said, “I was astonished how many Board members were unaware of the details of the softball program at Hills…But, at the end of the day, it came down to never backing down and never giving up.”

Senior Amanda Sailer expressed the hard work it took for the Board Of Education (BOE) to acknowledge the need for the new field. Sailer said, “My team and I attended several board meetings with our coaches, families, and future cowgirls to make this happen. The team having the ability to play on a home field will enhance the program beyond belief.”

Although she won’t be at Hills when the field is complete, Sailer is excited for her younger teammates to have the opportunity she never had – to play on campus. As a parting statement to the team? “#HillsPride!”

Another senior, Mia Gheduzzi, agreed, mentioning, “It makes me really excited to come back and visit and seeing other girls playing on it!”

With Pascack Hills being built in 1964, eight years before Title IX was passed, a bill that allows anyone based on sex to participate in any federally funded education program or activity, there weren’t any female sports on campus. Not to mention, the hills in the area makes it hard to come up with a full function usage of the land. This year, along with the new softball field will be five new tennis courts, the destruction of the Board Office, and a new football grandstand that will be ADA compliant.

Currently, varsity players either walk up to Montvale’s Memorial Elementary School or have to take a bus ride to La Trenta Field, a seven minute ride. Usually, these girls need to put up the fence and tear it down after every game, an issue they wouldn’t have to deal with if the field was on the school’s campus, as well as not having the opportunity to tarp the sand before heavy rains.

At Memorial, there are scheduling issues between the high school and the elementary school, as well as having a smaller field and smaller dugouts.

Coach Curatola said, “The reality is that Memorial Field was never built to accommodate high-school level players…At the end of the day, while these are all legitimate concerns, this comes down to doing what is right and providing our female athletes with comparable facilities to our male athletes.”

By the Spring of 2017, Hills students can be expected to see the softball players, both JV and varsity, playing on their home turf. We hope to see you there, cheering for the team that made the difference for players, both new and old.