Volunteers keep Little League fields in tip-top shape

awoolen@macon.comMay 8, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Keeping the fields for Warner Robins American Little League in top shape requires a lot of work.

That is where Darin McDowell, Steve King and Troy Brown come in.

The trio spend about 14 hours a week mowing the grass and dragging the dirt on the fields.

“We usually cut the grass twice a week,” said McDowell, who is the vice president of softball at WRALL.

He works at Cascade Corp.

McDowell also helps coach his daughter Abby’s major league softball team.

“This year has been really rough,” McDowell said of the wet weather, which has caused numerous games to be rescheduled.

The normal procedure for a Sunday is to get up early and meet King, vice president of field maintenance and grounds for softball, at the fields around 8 a.m.

Brown, who is vice president of field maintenance and grounds for baseball, meets them a little later.

He said he only lives a mile from the field and is usually out there every day.

“We do everything from cut the grass to change the lightbulbs,” said Brown.

He has been volunteering for five years, since his son Garrett, now 8, was in wee ball at age 3.

Brown coaches his son’s C-ball Brewers along with manager Dennis Buckner.

Brown owns Apollo Construction while King works at a local golf course.

“It’s not just me,” said Brown, who mentioned others who help keep the fields and the park looking good.

Last year, the league bought a new mower, which helps cut down the time needed to mow.

“We can get everything, even the big field, done in about six hours,” McDowell said.

With the old mower it would take upward of eight hours.

A lot of the coaches volunteer to help keep up the fields as well. There are rakes at each field, and most coaches know how to use them.

“A lot of those guys know what the fields should look like,” said McDowell, who can be seen most game nights driving in a golf cart helping to fix pitcher’s mounds or doing general maintenance.

The only problem McDowell has is forgetting about his own yard, but his wife, Bridget, will remind him when it gets too tall.

“I’m lucky my wife doesn’t mind me doing it,” he said of the long hours he puts in at the Little League fields.

“I enjoy it.”

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