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Reed parents lead efforts to fix baseball infield
by Aaron Retherford
Aug 04, 2012 | 2754 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Reed baseball used to be one of the premier programs in the North, and the Raiders faithful had a reason to be proud. Now, the program is in disarray.

No one knows who the coach will be next season. Making matters worse, the infield became unplayable following the spring campaign.

A group of parents have created a Little Dugout Club and are in the process of raising money to fix the problems created by poor field maintenance and an act of vandalism.

The coaching staff at Reed historically did much of the field maintenance, but once Ray Charles was suspended at the end of the last regular season, there was no one around to make sure the field was cared for.

Unfortunately, it was flooded by the effluent water, allowing a fungus to grow on the field. Because of the way the original field was created on top of the pasture land, water fails to drain properly due to a layer of decomposed granite underneath the field. Thus, it creates a standing water effect.

The situation worsened when vandals threw rock salt on the infield and killed the grass.

Reed’s two summer baseball teams not only had to be coached by parents, but they also had to make the most of a summer league schedule without the use of a home field.

The school district has plenty on its plate with deteriorating facilities throughout the district. There’s just no money to be had, especially for a field that had its sod replaced within the past few years.

Parents of the Raiders baseball players have taken it upon themselves to make sure their kids have an appropriate place to play next spring. They have planned several fundraisers. After the parents tore up the infield two Saturdays ago, they hired Garden Shop Landscape in order to install a drainage system. Landscapers will then rake up the clay and roll over the dirt in order to level and sod the infield.

But once the Little Dugout Club pays for the infield to be redone, it will be out of money. But some of the parents, like Don Nowaczewski, who is the Vice President of the Little Dugout Club and father of senior Mark Nowaczewski, are doing this to make sure their children have one last good season at the east Sparks school.

“The parents are raising the money and the parents are fixing the field,” Nowaczewski said. “It’s a strange situation. Mark is going to be a senior and he will have had three coaches. I want him to have a good senior year and there are other parents who want him to have a good senior year. The thing is, with the drainage system we’re putting in now, this field should last for a long time with proper maintenance.”

When the parents raise enough money, the next plan is to improve the right-field line, which is all sand and weeds. The first-base side bullpen also needs maintenance.

Nowaczewski and the other parents hope these improvements and the existence of a Little Dugout Club to take care of the fundraising will motivate a longterm coach to come to Reed.

“We want to put the baseball program back on the map,” Nowaczewski said. “Reed used to have a good baseball program, but it’s fallen on hard times with the revolving door of coaches lately. We’re trying to get the field back in shape, so there’s a coach who wants to come in and take over and have a nice field for these kids to play on for a long time to come.”

Nowaczewski said any donations will be appreciated and those interested can call him at 775-356-2941.
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