The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.
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How Not Getting New Fields Affects the FHN Baseball Team

How+Not+Getting+New+Fields+Affects+the+FHN+Baseball+Team
Credit to Austin Griffin

Over the past few years, there has been work to build a new building for the Francis Howell North students to attend in the future. This is not breaking news; we have all seen the empty lot grow into metal bars, and eventually the school that we will all move into next year. However, where the new school stands is where all of our previous athletic facilities stood- all except for the softball and baseball fields. So over the course of construction, almost all of our outdoor sports have been relocated to available fields, tennis courts, and tracks. Throughout this time, the softball and baseball teams have stayed at their home fields with no major changes to the way their sports season looks. The only drawback is that whereas most FHN sports got new facilities, the baseball team will remain on the same fields.

“I like how our mound and batters box is well maintained even after all these years,” sophomore Avee Patel said. “Our batter’s eye is really good, especially compared to other fields like Troy, where it was much more difficult to see the ball. I don’t like that we have turf mounds in the bullpen because we have to switch into non-metal shoes to use it, but it is still nice.”

The FHN baseball fields were built with the school, and have remained the same ever since. While the baseball fields and scoreboards are still completely functional, they are definitely not gleaming and new. There are spots of rust on the metal fencing, and the water fountains are less than ideal. Although the fields themselves have not been renovated, there is a new parking lot designated for athletes and fans right above the fields. The fields are also wheelchair accessible with a ramp leading down to the viewing section, but the bleachers for the JV field are small, and the varsity field has just cement arena seating. This results in spectators having to bring their own chairs which can be an issue for elderly adults and grandparents trying to watch the games.

“I would probably change our field from dirt and grass to a turf field,” sophomore Cameron Burris said. “Even if only the infield was turf, it would be much more manageable and we wouldn’t have to rake or put the tarps out as much.”

The fields may be old, but they have been available for play throughout the duration of the construction of our new building, an unusual luxury. The varsity, JV, and freshman baseball teams have been able to practice and play on their own homefields, contrasting the other sports who have been unable to host sports events at home since the beginning of construction. This is putting a damper on spectator participation, as students are far more likely to come to a game at FHN than they are to drive to Creve Coeur Park, or even Francis Howell Central. On top of this, most outdoor athletes excluding the class of 2024, have never experienced a true “home game”, one of the highlights of high school sports. So, while the baseball fields are not getting replaced, they have been available for all these moments, all these memories, that some athletes haven’t been able to enjoy. 

“One of my favorite memories at the FHN baseball fields was when we beat Fort Zumwalt West 6-1 earlier this year,” senior Luke Hewlett said. “I thought the team really came together and that the atmosphere was very supportive. The game was just really fun and I’m glad I got to share that experience with my teammates.”



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