Team members, coaches, and parents spent hours last weekend cleaning what is estimated as ‘nearly a million pounds’ of snow off the Hall High School varsity baseball field in West Hartford.
By Ronni Newton
Spring sports are scheduled to begin this month in West Hartford, but with several feet of snow still covering the fields, courts, and track, players and coaches are having a hard time envisioning having productive outdoor workouts, let alone games.
But if Hall High School’s baseball team can’t use their field any time soon, it won’t be for lack of effort.
“Hall High Head Coach Jeff Billing and his team decided to take things, or should I say shovels, into their own hands last weekend!” Hall baseball parent Rachael Kriedel said.
With no sign of spring, or significant melting of the snow pack in sight, Coach Billing asked – and his players, coaches and baseball parents answered him in a big way, Kriedel said. “They arrived at the field with shovels, snow blowers, tarps, a bobcat, a plow, hot chocolate, and the desire to play ball,” she said.
On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 28 and March 1, a total of 40 volunteers showed up to clear the varsity infield at Hall. Billing said that the volunteers, who came in waves, spent a total of seven hours removing the snow. Billing said he did his share of the work, too. “Absolutely! I wouldn’t miss that fun,” he said.
Billing, who is a math teacher at Hall, gave the following estimate of the amount of snow that the volunteers removed: “By my calculations, we cleared about 160′ by 160′ area, of 2.5 feet deep snow … at approximately 15 lbs per cubic foot, that’s very close to a million pounds of snow that we moved! Pretty cool,” he said.
Of course with the way the weather has been this winter, some additional snow fell after the field was cleared. Billing said that he isn’t sure it would make sense to do any more snow removal at this point.
“Our timing was good because the 30-plus degree temperatures hadn’t arrived yet, so the ground was frozen solid. I think moving forward it’s going to be very slushy. We had a pickup truck with a plow, a bobcat with a snowblower attached, and six snowblowers, in addition to 20-40 people out there shoveling and moving snow by dragging tarps. It was quite the production, and great team building!” he said.
“Baseball season is around the corner and the Hall baseball team has shown they are ready to play,” Kriedel said.
While Billing doesn’t think the field will be ready for the first official day of practice on March 23, “hopefully it’ll be ready before it would have been ready,” he said.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!