Snow Removal an Issue as Spring Sports Begin

The high school spring sports season officially gets underway Monday with the first day of tryouts and the big question is how long it will take to move the show outside.

Community Development’s John Kasian, who oversees the operation and scheduling of both Manning Field and Fraser Field, said both fields are still under about three feet of snow. He said workers just recently started clearing away the walkways and paths around the fields.

The lacrosse teams will start having games March 30-31, but the Fisher College baseball team, which has an agreement with the city to use Fraser Field, opens at home the weekend of March 21-22 with the next dates the 28-29.

“Without a miracle I think we can rule out that first weekend and we’ll see about the second weekend,” Kasian said.

Unlike Manning, which is all turf, Fraser Field is a combination of turf in the infield and real grass in the outfield. The area between home plate and the backstop and also near the dugouts, although turf, is slow to recover because it doesn’t get great sunlight this time of year, Kasian said.

The priority at the complex will be getting lacrosse up and running, followed by track and then baseball (because of the natural grass), Kasian said. He said you can’t shovel a nearly 90,000 square foot stadium, but once the snow cover gets way down on Manning Field, there is equipment that can be used to expedite the removal.

Kasian said once the sun starts hitting the exposed turf, there’s a heater coil effect that extends to areas still covered by snow and that helps with the melting. The bottom line, he said, is having the temperature above freezing at night, mild days to promote a steady thaw, some wind, no rain and no more snow.

Most of the other fields in the city are subject to Mother Nature’s whims, but Grace Rogato Softball Field at Breed, which is maintained by Greater Lynn Babe Ruth, is getting a little help. The Fisher College softball team plays there and to help get the field in shape for the college season GLBR  has coordinated some snow removal, Kasian said.

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