The Clarke Community School district is proud of its athletic programs and the students who participate and support their teams. But in recent years, the high school baseball and softball teams have struggled with facilities in need of upgrades.
Neither the baseball or the softball field drains well, creating unsafe conditions and causing postponements or schedule delays for the student athletes and fans who love the game. It’s hard for a team to improve and become a cohesive winning unit when practice facilities are muddy, full of puddles and unsafe for use.
That’s why Clarke Community School activities director Tracy Johnson and Superintendent Steve Seid reached out to experts for a consultation on how to create a stellar field. In their search for a long-term solution to the drainage problems at the high school, they found Casey Scheidel with the Iowa Cubs Sports Turf Management. Casey is part of the team that maintains the exceptional field conditions at Principal Park in Des Moines, the home of the Iowa Cubs Baseball Team. As an expert in creating and maintaining professional baseball field conditions, Casey offered some solutions that were presented to the Clarke School Board last week. The board is reviewing final costs for the upgrades and will make a decision at the September 12th board meeting.
The plan includes having the current fields “skinned”, or removing the top layer of turf, and replacing it with a water-absorbent dirt compound to help cut down on pooling and puddling when it rains. Then sod will be settled on top of this dirt layer and an irrigation system will be installed to maintain the field’s best conditions.
Our students deserve to have safe and reliable facilities on which to practice,” said Steve Seid, Superintendent for Clarke Community Schools. “We have been very purposeful with budgeting our specific facilities funds, and are very proud to be able to provide these field improvements for our student athletes without needing to ask for community funding.”
Sports Turf Management will be starting work on the fields soon. While they can’t guarantee the work will be completed this fall, they assure Superintendent Seid that the work will be completed by the start of the spring season, in plenty of time for the teams to use the fields for practice and games.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Steve Seid, Clarke Superintendent, at (641) 342-4969 or [email protected].