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Parents, players repair vandalism damage to Blue Stilly playing field

ARLINGTON For the second weekend in a row, players, parents and coaches of the Stilly Valley Little League spent their free time cleaning up the Blue Stilly playing field Feb. 25. They hope the community will help make such cleanups less necessary in the future.
Roy Strotz has allowed the team to play on the field since 1968, so many of the adults who showed up to repair the damage done to the field by vandals were once players themselves.
Roy lets us use his field, so we need to respect it, like we would a state park, said George Spady, as he raked the grass and picked up stray branches in the rain. You might not be able to tell now, but when its sunny, this is one of the best fields in the league.
Spady reported that children and adults alike spent the previous weekend on flattening the ruts in the grassy outfield, as well as the donuts in the dirt infield where four-wheel drivers had torn up the ground. He also cited the contributions of local businesses such as Novak Topsoil, Oso Lumber and Arlington Hardware, in addition to the 72 hours of labor that Mike Morris put into building concrete-foundation wooden bleachers for the field.
Every year, this field gets flooded out, and every year, they donate new dirt for it, Spady said. Mike doesnt even have a kid on the team. He just played when he was a kid.
Michaela Murphy noted that the Blue Stilly playing field isnt the only field used, or cleaned up, by the Stilly Valley Little League, but added that it is often the hardest hit by vandalism, since many of the teams other fields are both less accessible and more visible.
We dont want our kids to get hurt when they play, by tripping over torn-up grounds, Murphy said. Plus, doing these cleanups gives them a sense of pride.
Spady asked area residents to report any vandalism they see. He also requested support for both the team and Arlington sports in general.
Being strong in sports brings money back to this community, Spady said.
To that end, Murphy urged anyone interested in becoming a baseball or softball umpire to contact Morgan Mosley, by phone at 360-925-6111 and via e-mail at m_mosley64@comcast.net. Practices start this week and games begin in April.

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