Letter to the Editor: Softball board member highlights Spencer Complex upgrades

Austin Craley discusses the efforts made to improve Mt. Laurel Girls Softball's facilities.

Editor’s Note: This letter was written in response to a letter from Joan Buehler that was published online on Aug. 19.

There was a very nice letter to the editor from a new resident to Mt. Laurel. She congratulated the young Mt. Laurel Girls Softball players and teams for their exciting recent successes, but also expressed concern about the playing conditions at some of the MLGS fields. As a MLGS board member since 2003, I welcome her enthusiasm and wanted to address her field concerns.

Over the past several years the MLGS program, together with Mt. Laurel Council, have re-purposed the Spencer Complex, turning it from football and baseball fields into the nicest softball complex in Southern New Jersey. We now have a beautiful home for our program, with five softball fields.  These fields have all the same amenities as the boys fields, including a centrally-located snack stand, inside bathrooms, batting cages, new fencing, lights on all five fields and newly paved walkways and parking lots. Having this softball ‘home’ is allowing us to move towards financial independence, as Laurel Acres did with the boys program when it opened in the early 2000s. My middle son was one of the first to play on the new Laurel Acres fields in those days, and they were (and are) stunning. My daughter finished her MLGS (and Lenape softball) careers before Spencer became a reality, but fortunately the girls coming through the program now have incredible fields at Spencer to play on. The coaches and players at Lenape have been extremely supportive as well, coming out to our opening ceremonies several years in a row and playing a ‘home’ game at the complex sometimes too.

The playing conditions for all the youth sports in Mt. Laurel have improved tremendously in the past several years, thanks to the tireless efforts of the volunteers who care so much about each program and the efforts of town council who manage to find ways to continually improve the fields while maintaining financial prudence.

We welcome the public to come to our bi-monthly board meetings to learn more about our program, and the improvements we are still working towards. You can learn more about us via our website, which is www.mtlaurelgirlssoftball.com.

I have been proud to watch the continuous field improvements happening regularly in Mt. Laurel, just as I was proud of the recent accomplishments of our young players!  Look out Olympic Conference foes, these young ladies will be coming to Lenape soon!

Austin Craley