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Memorial Field Not Ready For Lacrosse Season

Washington Township's youth lacrosse teams are scheduled to begin practicing Friday but don't have anyplace to play.

Washington Township's youth lacrosse teams are supposed to begin practicing this week, but they still don't have a place to play, Eamonn Twomey, the program's director, said Monday.

Memorial Field is still not ready, township Administrator Catherine Navarro-Steinel said. The contractor who installed new sod last fall estimated that it would not be ready until mid-to-late April because it was installed late in the fall and is still dormant, according to Navarro-Steinel.

Twomey said they had also investigated using the high school field again, but that would not be possible this year because it is only available from 8 to 10 p.m. The lacrosse program includes elementary-aged children.

"We've tried everything, but there's no opther options," Twomey said.

Navarro-Steinel said she and her staff were looking for other facilities in area towns that the teams would be able to use.

"We're diligently working on a field for you," Navarro-Steinel said.

Twomey and Councilman Glenn Beckmeyer said they believed artificial turf could have been installed and be ready to use already. Officials and residents debated the best option for the field for months last year.

"I know for a fact that it could have been done," Beckmeyer said.

Council President Steve Cascio disagreed.

"I don't think the field would have been ready if we'd gone the other way," Cascio said.

Coach Scott Spezial also questioned the decision to re-sod the field instead of .

Some of the same issues that residents brought up last year — including goose feces and mesh that could potentially trip athletes — are still problems, Spezial said.

The township has invited the Bergen County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit to use the field for training, which officials said will hopefully deter the geese from gathering there. Chemicals will not be used on the field, officials said.

Mayor Janet Sobkowicz also said that she had seen mesh on the field after it was supposed to be removed, but had already made the contractor come back to get it.

"It should be gone," Sobkowicz said. "If it's not, we have a problem."

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Township Resident February 26, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Wow, I'm shocked. Same story, different year. Town field isn't ready and the administration failed to provide an alternative location. I'm sure the town was quick to collect the registration money though. Did the administration wait until the week practice was to begin to realize they had no field or was it a lack of action during the winter to secure an alternate field (maybe Westvale)?
george phillips February 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM
There are Westwood kids in this program. Let Westwood provide a field
Dumb O'Dumberer February 27, 2013 at 01:25 PM
ok, let's think about this a moment: the guy that is a civil engineer says the field renovation could have been done, but the doctors and lawyers say it couldn't. Should I now figure on going to see an engineer about my aching back? Maybe he can also file a suit on our behalf. Don't know about you but my money is with the Engineer. Unless you prefer the doctors and lawyers who will want to discuss this for about 8 more months and then do nothing. We can then cancel baseball and football as well, why should lacrosse have all the fun? Engineer's credo: "if it's broke, fix it, and if it ain't broke, we can still make it work better" Then let's hire some more Engineers as councilmen and make some intelligent decisions in town for a change.
twp resident February 27, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Don't worry folks, Mayor Sobkowicz is on top of it, otherwise "We have a problem". She is so totally ridiculous.
Twp Rez 1 February 27, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Oh, the sports programs are stressing .....boo hoo.....get a grip people....do you realize how ridiculous you winers sound? Typical small town sports mentality....
Dumb O'Dumberer February 27, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Sports programs vs kids hanging around with nothing to do and getting in trouble. Maybe you want to run a knitting class instead?
washwood February 27, 2013 at 03:45 PM
How ridiculous and out of touch do YOU sound? Yeah, what a horrible idea to provide children with sports and keep them active and NOT in front of a TV.
Terence Hayes February 27, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Westwood has over 100 kids in this program. The Lacrosse program does damage to the field. Let Westwood supply a field also so that the stress is not always on Memorial Field. Let's be honest, why should Township residence fund artificial turf for a program that has 1/3 Westwood residence. Its not the mayor's fault that we allow other towns to destroy / over utilize our our field.
Township Resident February 27, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Terry - field is not just used for LAX, and in fact, Westwood DID supply a field last season when needed because Memorial field could not be used for games. Let's not cloud the issue of not having an available field (town admin failure) with a debate about artificial turf. You should see how many "out of town" men are in your softball league which uses the same field!
JVS February 27, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Sherry Field, Gardner Field, Clark Field.
scruffy February 27, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Not only has LAX used Westwood fields but also Westwood fields have been used by Township Soccer as well as Baseball so let's stop dividing the towns up. Let's focus on the matter at hand and that is lack of action to get it done perhaps or maybe much ado about nothing. Maybe the reality is we live in NJ and the fields will not be available for most sports teams to start in Northern NJ due to the weather we get. Perhaps March is unrealistic in a date and April is more like it. Maybe we all need to stop pushing the envelope on timetables. Perhaps political agendas are at hand instead of realities. As for the comment about sports, these programs are very good for the kids involved not only for staying healthy but for learning to have fun as well.
Township Resident February 27, 2013 at 08:35 PM
baseball, softball, baseball use. Also not large enough
Walnut March 01, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Funny. Any surprise that the most comments out here on the patch are here? Yet, there are very few regarding what's going on at the schools, our indicted assemblyman, zoning and planning issues. Ahhh spring time and sports. It's only a matter of time before the sports obsessed start insisting again that we install turf on Memorial Field with money we don't have or have to borrow, while there are other more pressing financial issues facing the TWP in this lousy economy.
Carey Grant March 02, 2013 at 02:14 AM
What about using the property at the swim club?

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