Workers of all ages help to ready new sports field

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Tue., Jul. 31, 2012
(L-r) Jakob, 11, Keira, 4, Joshua, 6, and Ed Conn collect stones from the new athletic field on Sheldon Road. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
(L-r) Jakob, 11, Keira, 4, Joshua, 6, and Ed Conn collect stones from the new athletic field on Sheldon Road. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

Picking up rocks in a sea of green grass isn’t the way most kids would want to spend a sunny summer Saturday, but the teens engaged in that task at the still-in-progress Griswold recreation field on Sheldon Road were taking the long view. “It’s for the younger kids,” said Nick Faulise, who plays tight end on the Griswold High School football team. He and teammate Jake Skulczyck, both juniors, were hauling 8-foot lengths of pipe off a truck and laying them in place for electrical wiring.

Not far away, the entire Waters family – parents Kim and Dan, son Cormac and daughter Kayleigh – were bent over the turf, looking for stones that could be extracted and dumped into a 5-gallon bucket. Both kids are avid soccer players. Kayleigh is looking forward to playing on the high school team this fall. Like her brother, she got her start in youth soccer. “We moved here from Norwich a couple of years ago,” she said. “Soccer helped me meet new people a lot.”

A small army of workers, ranging in age from 4 on up, swarmed over Pasquale and Maria Camputaro Memorial Field July 28, whipping things into shape in anticipation of the fall sports season. Work crews painted the metal trim on the new field house and did the final excavation work on its septic system. They also trimmed away weedy overgrowth at the entrance and spread mulching material around the goal posts, the driveway and the fence posts.

“We’re getting close, but there’s a lot to be done,” said Jamie Caporaso, who serves as the Griswold Recreation Commission’s chair and is a member of its Sheldon Road Field Committee. “We’re waiting for the grass to grow to be a little bit stronger.” The sprinkler system for the field needs to be electrified and the interior work, including walls and bathrooms, needs to be completed in the field house, she said. The stadium seats, scoreboard and goalposts are all in storage, awaiting their debut this fall.

Ed Conn, president of the Griswold Soccer Club, was also out in the field Saturday, supervising siblings Jakob, 11, Joshua, 6, and Keira, 4, in a rock-picking crew. He said that the youth soccer league plans to open its season at its usual home at the high school stadium Sept. 7, but he looks forward to using the new facility. “If I had my druthers, I’d reseed it and let it grow again for another season,” he said. “We’re looking forward to getting some travel team games out here for next year. We’ve played games at the Griswold High School complex forever, but space is getting tight there. This is still a work in progress.”

When completed, the field will host football and soccer matches, as well as baseball, softball and lacrosse practice. It also has a walking trail that skirts the field’s lakefront. Fund-raising is ongoing, with commemorative paving bricks available at $60 each, or $100 for two. Contact Caporaso at 860-213-1264 or Ryan Aubin, Griswold Recreation director, at 860-376-7026 to purchase.

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