BERLIN – Berlin football head coach Joe Aresimowicz will soon be retiring from his position as Speaker of the House, but among his final acts before leaving that role on Jan. 6 will be improvements to multiple playing fields for the Redcoats.
Aresimowicz helped bring in nearly $3 million in funding for multiple projects for Berlin sports, including upgrades at both Sage Park and Berlin High School.
Among the upgrades at Sage will be a new scoreboard at Scalise Field, where Aresimowicz spends many of his Friday nights. The field will also have new LED lights, a department of need after the boys and girls soccer teams needed portable lights on the visiting side of the field this season when one of the light towers had to be taken down.
“The scoreboard is going to be very nice,” Aresimowicz said. “The horn doesn't work on our current one...it doesn't do the play clock, there's a lot of things it really doesn't have. So it'll definitely be an improvement for what is already there. But both the scoreboard and the lights are I believe original to Sage Field when it was built in the 70s.
“The lights cost so much, so going over to LEDs will save money. And there are some panels for advertising on the new scoreboard that's going to go back into the town's funds for playing fields.”
Next door to the football field, the softball field will have a storage area and a handicap bathroom installed, and Aresimowicz hopes to also improve traffic conditions at Sage Park, though that still needs to be cleared.
At Berlin High School, the field where the football team practiced last season will be turned into a turf field, allowing soccer and lacrosse teams to practice at the school as well. The soccer teams have been practicing at Sage, as does the football team when the current grass field at Berlin High is unplayable, which, Aresimowicz said, often is.
“That's where we're all supposed to practice, soccer and football,” Aresimowicz said. “But the field is so bad, nobody is able to practice there. We try to practice there, but if there's a sprinkle we'd have to cancel because there's so many holes and the grass won’t grow. So that'll be turf now. It'll be a regulation football field and obviously regulation soccer, where they can host sub-varsity games. But it will also be two youth soccer fields that will run sideways. So it will really be a multi-use field for PE, soccer, lacrosse practice, and obviously football practice when we're not at Sage.”