(03/23/2001)
By Bob Weaver

Calhoun High School home baseball games have been postponed until after the advent of daylight savings time, according to administrator Roger Propst. Play on the new field is presenting a safety hazard, with sunlight striking players in the face. Some coaches, players and supporters are saying the new field was turned wrongly, allowing sunlight to be a problem.

Administrator Donnie Pitts told the Calhoun County Athletic Complex Committee Monday evening the current field was the only configuration that was affordable. He said it would have taken an additional $200,000, apparently for dirt fill, to turn the field away from the sunlight problem.

Calhoun County school board member Ralph Cunningham said "It was the best we could do with the money we had." After daylight savings time, Propst says it is likely seven innings of a game can be completed before there is a sunlight problem. The first home game with Braxton has now been scheduled for April 5th at 4 p.m. Propst says as the days become longer, games will probably be scheduled at the original 4:30 p.m. time. He said there are no plans to play at the old Grantsville field.

Propst told the CCACC "Everyone knew the field was oriented wrong" at the time it was approved. He said the school board apparently felt the plan as submitted was the best alternative.

Propst has asked the Little Kanawha Board of Umpires to observe the conditions and report problems. Coach Roscoe Gainer is monitoring the situation closely and "concurs with the actions and plans," said Propst.

CCACC President Kelley Houchin said the fundraising group had nothing to do with the positioning of the field. The group has supplied labor and materials to build the backstop and fencing.

Propst said he was present at some of the board meetings with the architects, where plans for orientating the field were discussed. He said there was awareness of some possible problems with sunlight. "The Board accepted the plan they felt they could afford, knowing we would have to deal with the conditions as we are doing now," he said.

He said "We are taking a conservative approach in dealing with this problem because it affects the safety of the participants. Preservation of instructional time is the highest priority," he concluded.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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