Softball Team’s Fight for Field Remains a Work in Progress

The+architect%27s+proposal+for+the+upper+campus+includes+a+softball+field+and+a+fifth+tennis+court.+Photo+courtesy+of+Pascack+Valley+Regional+High+School+District.

The architect’s proposal for the upper campus includes a softball field and a fifth tennis court. Photo courtesy of Pascack Valley Regional High School District.

Kristina Hughes

On Monday, November 23rd, the Pascack Valley Regional High School District discussed plans for the construction of an artificial turf softball field. At the meeting, players, coaches, students, and parents demanded for a field with the assistance of a petition with more than 750 signatures. Finally after years of fighting for a field on campus, progress is being made.

Currently, the Pascack Hills Varsity softball team practices and plays at LaTrenta Field, an off-campus site, designated as the home field, while the Junior Varsity team plays at Flagg Field at Memorial Elementary School. Both sites are over a mile away from the high school, and players are expected to arrive at the field without any transportation provided. As a result of this lack of transportation, seniors must pack their cars with teammates, and JV players must walk to their field.

Not only is the distance from the school to the fields an issue, but the conditions of each field pose a challenge to both teams. On arrival to what most players call the “swamp,” each girl must help carry and set-up a fence in the outfield prior to each game, and they must break it down and carry it back after each game, a process that many girls describe as degrading. Because of this lengthy task, warm-ups are delayed, often beginning after opposing teams have arrived. As a result, there is no longer any “home team advantage.”

Coach Erin Curatola, who has been coaching softball for eight years at Pascack Hills, addressed the issue as “an immediate and legitimate concern.” In addition, Title Nine, an equality-in-sports rule, states that all sports teams need to be properly and equally equipped.

Curatola added, “A field on campus will demonstrate to these young women, our future Cowgirls, that the female athletes and especially the female softball players are equally as important as their male counterparts.”

When asked about the issue and the progress being made, senior Hannah Hoffman said, “For the first time in my four years here, the field issue is being addressed. I think it’s being handled well and everyone on the project is doing everything they can to resolve the issue of not having a field on campus.”

In the original blueprint of the fields and courts outside of the school, there is enough space to design and construct a softball field. If put into place, the softball field would overlap with the baseball field and replace the space of one of the tennis courts already in place. Since a tennis court will be removed, a fifth court will be added in a different location, ultimately benefiting both the softball and tennis teams.

Moving forward, the district is willing to provide the Varsity softball team with a bus to bring the athletes from Pascack Hills to LaTrenta Field. However, the JV team is still left without transportation. A committee has been formed in order to oversee the building of a softball field on campus that should take place in the near future.