• Dan Russoman

Hawks react to board’s decision on field usage


The Hammonton Hawks responded to the Hammonton Board of Education’s decision to allow St. Joseph Academy use of William T. Capella Field. (Courtesy Photo)

HAMMONTON—The Hammonton Hawks responded to the Hammonton Board of Education’s decision to allow St. Joseph Academy use of William T. Capella Field (see Page 1 for full story).


The statement, provided to The Gazette on August 7 reads:




“PUBLIC STATEMENT: Use of Capella field


“August 6, 2021


“Over the past few weeks, select Hammonton Board of Education (BOE) members strongly encouraged our organization to grant St. Joseph Academy (SJA) access to William T. Capella Field for the 2021 season. In community spirit and many mutual friends of SJA, Hawks board members met to discuss the pros and cons of granting such a request. After lengthy discussion and independent research (Sports Turf Managers Association), the Hammonton Hawks board determined that it was not in the best interest of our program to comply with select members of the BOE’s urging to grant SJA use of our field for two primary reasons:


“1. Player safety and field overuse (4 levels of Hawks practices, 4 levels of Hawks games, 2 levels of HMS Soccer, 3 levels of HMS physical education classes).


“2. Integrity of the donations used to revitalize William T Capella field F/B/O the youth of the Hammonton sending districts.


On 8/5/2021, the Hammonton School Board agenda was posted to the district webpage, which included item No. 125(3)(b)(1) for the “use of facility” to grant SJA use of the Hammonton High School football field (Capoferri field) for 2021 season.


“In the best interest of the Hammonton High School football program, the Hammonton Hawks acquiesced to the BOE’s urging to provide SJA use of our home facilities and tentatively agreed to terms of use.


“Rest assured, the terms we set forth address player safety, field conditions and back up locations in the event fields are unsafe. It is feasible that the Hawks may have to play an additional away game this year if weather and field overuse does not cooperate with our schedule.


“As more details emerge, we will continue to keep you informed of the storyline, the events that occurred, the terms we accepted, and the reason we accepted them.


“The Hammonton Hawks Board”