For the past several years, Verona High School’s Doc Goeltz field has been the site of the semifinal round of local baseball’s Greater Newark Tournament.
The honor of hosting New Jersey’s oldest tournament has bestowed more than prestige on the Verona community: The event is a big revenue booster for the Verona Baseball Parents, which runs the concession stand for the double-header, played in the past on a Saturday in April. VBP is a group of VHS parents that raises funds for the upkeep of the high school’s varsity and JV baseball fields; field maintenance is not in the Board of Education budget.
This year, however, the event has been changed from Saturday to a Thursday evening, knocking Verona out of contention since our field is not lighted for evening play. Members of the VBP are pressing the governing body, the Essex County Athletic Directors Association, to keep the tournament on Saturday and in Verona.
The ECADA has already voted for the change to a weeknight, and the vote passed 21 to 7. VBP members are hoping to convince eight of the ‘No’ voters to change their votes to a ‘Yes’ at the group’s next meeting on February 2.