Time Out: Unfair Use of Fields Cause Controversy; Football Teams Wreck Baseball, Softball Fields, Other Teams Mistreated

March 1 is the date every dedicated baseball, softball, lacrosse and track athlete has marked on their calendar before the school year even began. After a fierce Maryland winter, little else feels as good as the warm sun on an open field with teammates’ familiar faces all around.
However, nothing kills the spirited choruses of “States!” that can be heard across all corners of campus like walking out to the field, only to find the grass underfoot in unattractive clumps and patches. Onlookers are aghast. Gasps are audible. In the distance, a siren wails. How can the baseball and softball outfields already be in a state of disrepair before the season kicks off?
Evident favoritism is the prominent explanation. During the summer and fall, the varsity and JV football teams stage their daily practices on the baseball and softball outfields, respectively. However, respect is nowhere to be found in this circumstance. A large group of equally large boys running, jumping and tackling each other leaves no grass untrodden. Three months of this? Near-permanent damage.
Recovery attempts exist, but perform shoddily at best. A white tarp covering a percentage of the affected areas over the frigid winter, victim to frequent rainfall and snowfall, does little to accelerate the regrowth of the lost grass. This leads to an uneven outfield for both the baseball and softball teams, putting players at risk of twisted or sprained ankles whenever they plant their feet to make a cut.
The softball team’s outfield is just another tragic feature plaguing their field, supplementing the weeds in the infield, the rocks in the dirt, and the daunting downward slope just feet beyond the left field foul line.
So what can be done about it? It would be unimaginable for the football team to ruin their own field by practicing on it, as many other teams use that field for games, and what’s the Rockville football program if not considerate? The solution is not, however, to ravage their fellow student athletes’ space. To claim so is to claim that Rockville football is more important than baseball and softball, which absolutely cannot be withstood.
We send the lacrosse and soccer teams to nearby middle and elementary schools to practice so as to preserve our precious RHS fields. Prioritizing a football team that wins less than a third of its games is unacceptable. Our baseball and softball programs cannot allow themselves to be walked on any longer. The time is now to rectify our mistakes. Ram athletes need to be valued equally, or not at all.