Youth league opening day washed out

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2005

Opening ceremonies that were set to take place today have been cancelled and reset for Monday night. Torrential downpour over the last few days have turned the fields at Beeland and Day Parks into swamps and marshes.

&uot;If the good Lord gives us a lot of sunshine,&uot; said Jerome Harris, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Greenville, &uot;we will have to come in Sunday afternoon

and roll water off the field because all of the fields are underwater, some are as bad as I have ever seen it. It’s going to take some work, we are going to put some drying agents on the field and looking at the weather report, the rain is supposed to come back Tuesday.&uot;

But, the staff at Greenville Parks and Recreation have a contingency plan.

Their plan is to move opening ceremonies to Monday.

Instead of having one big event, such as planned for today, each league will have their own opening ceremony.

The 9-10 year olds will kick everything off on Monday night with their opening ceremonies slated for 5:30 p.m., also the Dixie Boys league will have their opening ceremonies at that same time. At 5:45 on Monday, the Dixie Ponytails, the 11-12 girls age group, will have their opening ceremonies at 5:45.

The rain moved into the area at the first of the week and hasn’t really let up until late Friday afternoon.

&uot;You can imagine now how the fields look,&uot; said Harris. &uot;They are in bad shape right now from all the water that’s been falling. If we don’t get a lot of sun, I don’t know if we will be able to play on Monday. If we have to cancel Monday then we’ll go to Thursday.

"If they get cancelled on Monday we’ll have all these games on Monday. If we get as much as three games cancelled, we will start having to make up. Right now we are just playing it by ear.&uot;

As of Friday afternoon, the fields were still in horrible shape. Field 1 at Day Park was a lake, so was McNaughton at Beeland Park. Things were better on the other side of town either. Two of the Greenville Softball Complex’s three fields had water standing at various places and had the temporary fence turned over from wind gusts.

But, according to parks and rec, the fields don’t drain well at all.

&uot;Day Park is probably the best when it comes to drainage,&uot; said Harris. &uot;Fields one and two at the softball complex are probably the worst. Holley Field at Beeland Park drains well, but we are going to have to do some sloping work on the softball fields. The reason they hold so much water is that they are flat and when the water finally does drain off of them, it takes layers of infield dirt with it. That leaves holes and when it rains again the water fills in the holes. Basically how we would go about fixing it would be to bring in some more dirt and then slope it.&uot;

When the field is sloped the water will drain towards the sides equally instead of pooling in one area .

&uot;Then we would have to do some concrete work so when the water comes off the concrete it won’t run onto the field,&uot; said Harris. &uot;As much rain as we have had here, I’d be surprised to see people in our area of the state play ball this weekend.&uot;

In situations where the playability of the fields comes into question, Greenville Parks and Recreation have been provided an additional information line by Camellia Communications. That number is 371-2255.