Complaints made by Wellington Youth Football director Amanda Lawson have resulted in the creation of two new practice fields for her teams.
Lawson presented her concerns to village council at its meeting last Monday. She was told by village manager Steve Pyles a few days prior that her five youth football teams would not be permitted to use the community soccer fields at the Wellington Recreation Park for football practice.
The five youth teams were using four fields in the outfield of the baseball fields, but the width of those areas is roughly 20 feet short of regulation.
“I feel it’s extremely important for us to have a regulation field for practice, not only games, for the fact of preparing our kids to the best of our ability to have a successful season,” Lawson said. “Not to mention a field of our own that we feel welcome on builds pride and community spirit.”
Lawson suggested adding goal posts to the soccer goals or double-lining the soccer fields, but council didn’t approve of those ideas.
Councilman Steve Mauer said double-lining the field would make it confusing for the young athletes.
Pyles said council was also concerned that since football uses hash marks certain areas of the field would get worn out more quickly than others.
The day after the council meeting, Pyles and village public works superintendent Bob Brasee visited the community soccer fields to measure and see whether a new football field could also fit in that area.
“The only way to make it work was to have fields abutting each other and that’s just simply not safe,” he said.
So instead, two new practice fields are being lined where the new baseball field will be.
“That’s the best solution we could come up with for this year,” Pyles said.
The two new fields are about 50 by 54 yards, which is close to regulation width. That gives the youth program six fields to practice on, not including the high school’s football complex.
Pyles isn’t sure whther the two new fields will fit once the baseball field is installed, but he said the village will remeasure and look for new solutions if necessary.
Lawson was contacted several times and couldn’t be reached for comment on the village’s solution.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-637-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Youth football director Amanda Lawson shares her concerns about practice space with village council.