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Mohawk holds ribbon-cutting for new softball field

Mar. 29—Lawrence County received a quarter-inch of rain Tuesday but didn't stop the Mohawk High softball team.

Mohawk took the field Wednesday for its regularly scheduled game against Sharpsville and won, 7-2. Coach Hank Pezzuolo said this was made possible thanks to the team's new turf field.

"It's incredible. The opportunities between practices and games, it's endless," Pezzuolo said.

Pezzuolo noted with turf infields, the only daily maintenance is minor brushing by home plate and the pitcher's mound.

"It maintains itself well," Pezzuolo said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday at the new field before the team's home nonsection matchup against Mercer.

The ceremony was attended by the players and coaches, Superintendent Dr. Lorree Houk, school board President Mark Hiler, board member Rachel McGreal — who is the head of the board's building and grounds committee — and former board member and former committee lead Ed Retort Jr.

"This is a special day a few years in the making," Houk said.

The board previously allocated $801,371 to build a brand-new, full-turf softball field, and $580,597 to renovate the existing baseball field with a turf infield.

A ribbon-cutting was originally scheduled for the baseball field Thursday but will be rescheduled after a makeup game was scheduled at Quaker Valley, which does not have a turf field.

Pezzuolo thanked Houk and the board for their support, while Houk thanked the board and the district's maintenance and grounds crews for getting the fields ready for the start of the season.

Houk noted during the school board's March 5 committee meeting, players and coaches attended to thank the board, with the players individually shaking the members' hands.

"These athletes greatly deserve this facility," Hiler said.

State Rep. Marla Brown (R-Lawrence) presented a state citation to commemorate the occasion.

"As a Mohawk alumna, I couldn't be more excited to be here," said Brown, who was a scorekeeper for the team during high school.

Further work is planned to be completed within the next few months, including the creation of a handicap-accessible walkway to get to the fields.

It is also the intention of the district to facilitate the construction of a new concession stand/bathroom building to be completed by August, though Houk said that date could change.

nvercilla@ncnewsonline.com