Howell High School does not have any sports facilities other than a turf stadium; however, starting in early June, construction begins on baseball and softball fields at Howell. FHSD plans to have players using the fields by fall of 2013.
“We have the same needs as other schools,” Activities Director Dave Witter said. “We’re doing the same things they are, but we’re doing it on one field.”
The total cost of the project is approximately $2.1 million which will come from a bond issue for school construction projects.
This finished product is going to consist one Varsity baseball and softball diamond, one diamond for the JV and freshman baseball and softball teams, one practice field for football and soccer teams and a throwing area for the track team.
Howell’s baseball and softball teams have been practicing on rented fields at C and H ballpark. According to Witter, the cost of renting other fields, renting a shuttle and the safety of the students driving to practice were large contributing factors to constructing fields on Howell’s campus.
“We have kids going off campus and driving on [Highway] 94 in rush hour just to practice,” Witter said. “They pass other high schools with fields, and they have to drive to Defiance and New Melle to play. It’s necessary for schools to have fields on campus.”
FHSD decides where and how to spend money based on what each school needs.
“We go around to each school and see what each school has and needs,” Chief Financial Officer Kevin Supple said. “We’ve worked with the activities directors at each school, and they gave us some advice about the fields.”
According to FHN sophomore Patrick Cronin, he doesn’t think the Howell Vikings will have an advantage because of the new fields.
“The fields don’t make the teams any better,” Cronin said. “The only thing that makes a team better is a lot of practice.”