Newly Repaired Softball Infield
On September 28, the James Walker Park infield at Essex County Yanticaw Park in Nutley, New Jersey got an upgrade. There is no longer a clay infield and a turf outfield, but now the entire field is made of turf. Due to the weather conditions and the large number of teams that play at James Walker Park, it was time for the field to get repaired for the upcoming softball season. Along with Yanticaw Park, Essex County Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey, was repaired as well.
Essex County Executive, Mr. Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that the fields in both Nutley and Newark were officially done and ready for use in September. According to http://essexcountynj.org, DiVincenzo said, “We are always looking for ways to continually update our recreation facilities. Schools and local recreation programs rely on our fields to conduct their practices and games, and these improvements will ensure playing conditions are maintained at a high level.”
Ms. Luann Zullo, the Nutley High School varsity softball coach, was part of the process by cutting the ribbon on the new field. As the NHS varsity softball coach, she is in charge of making sure her players get progressively better while also being able to enjoy the game of softball. Since the NHS varsity softball team practices and plays games at James Walker Park, this will make practices and games easier when it rains or snows.
“So many teams use the field and it is difficult for the County to maintain the clay infield. Over the years, outside teams have put so much diamond dry (form of dry dirt to absorb wet fields) on the field at times the field should not have been playable that the field composition had become compromised,” said Zullo. “I like a clay infield and a turf outfield, however, I think with the fact that it is a county park and so many others have access to the field, this is an opportunity for us to have a well-maintained playing surface and give us the opportunity to play on days that other teams may not be able to. As far as the team is concerned, I believe there will be less bad hops on ground balls and I have the confidence that our team can excel on either surface.”
The NHS softball program will be holding tryouts right after winter sports are finished. All winter sports have just started, but the NHS varsity softball team will be practicing on their own before tryouts during the winter.