Parks commissioners differed on whether the high school should continue to have first rights to town fields since it has renovated its own athletic facilities.
ADAMS, Mass. – The Parks Commission raised doubt on Monday night about Hoosac Valley High's long-term priority status on town fields.
The commissioners approved the Adams Lassie League’s right to use town facilities for the upcoming softball season, but also discussed potential scheduling concerns with the Hoosac Valley softball team.
Although the Hoosac team will attempt to use their own field this season, field conditions because of weather or scheduling conflicts with lacrosse team may cause issues.
Board member James Fassell explained that Hoosac Valley has priority usage of the town fields.
"You [Lassie League] are there to service the high school and make good kids that can play high school ball," Fassell said. "You are not there to compete with the high school and tell them to get off and make it a territorial thing."
But board member Todd Shafer believes this philosophy should change.
"This is a town field, and it is a field used by the town of Adams," he said. "The high school has their own facilities that they built and taxpayers spent money on them. They are set aside for high school athletics."
"It will probably continue to work out well, but if it does become a conflict I think that it is something we would want to mitigate," Shafer said. "I personally would fall on the side of the town leagues as opposed to the high school taking over their field because the high school has their own fields and their own budget."
Lassie League President Gary Puppolo explained that even with past scheduling issues, the youth league has always been able to resolve issues with the high school.
"We coordinate with the high school and work around their schedule," he said. "The high school starts practicing right after school, and we don’t start practicing until after 5 p.m."
Puppolo also sees the high school's use of Russell and Reid fields as a good thing.
"It's really great for the younger kids because they get to interact with the older girls, and they kind of look up to them," he said.
Puppolo added that the high school girls hold clinics for the younger players in the Lassie League and they often share equipment.
Correction: A quote by Commissioner Todd Shafer was incorrectly attributed to another board member. iBerkshires regrets the error.