Beverly Wall Ball photos.jpg

A sneak peak at where the wall ball structure will be installed at Beverly High School.

As the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come”.

The Beverly Lacrosse Boosters Association is hoping that will happen very soon after over a year’s worth of planning for the new wall ball structure. The final product will be installed at the back of Beverly High School sometime before this month is over and is tentatively scheduled for this Wednesday (weather permitting).

The unique concept will help youth and high school athletes in many sports, including lacrosse, develop skills that help hand-eye-foot coordination. Soccer, field hockey, tennis, baseball, and others can also use the wall to practice and enjoy getting together with others.

Jeffrey Silva, president of BLBA, spearheaded the project, a volunteer effort by a group of families and individuals. The fundraising goal is to raise $16,500 for the cost of the wall, and around 60 percent of that sum is already available. Silva hopes some local businesses will step up to help with the remaining need.

The goal all along was to have the wall in place before spring season begins, and with support from the city and school committee the location was selected from several possible sites.

“We considered many other locations, and decided the best one was to put it up on the grassy area by the parking lot behind the Dairy Queen entrance as you walk toward the turf field,” said Silva. “We’re still raising money, but decided to pull the trigger while the weather is good so athletes can begin to use it.”

The wall will be 18 feet tall and 12 feet wide with six-foot panel sections. In the future another panel could be added, and both sides will be used which means there are actually 24 total feet. Scituate Concrete is scheduled to arrive at 7 a.m. to install, and an hour-and-a-half to two hours later it will be competed.

“I’ll get up early that morning to be there,” said Silva. “I’m very excited about the whole project. A lot of work went into it planning with parents. We have a very good group of families, who agreed this was a nice to do item. I used to coach in the youth program, and getting kids familiar with how to use the stick and handle it is one of the biggest parts of the game they need to get comfortable with.

“We wanted the structure to be 18 feet tall so defensemen with long sticks can throw with a normal stick and practice their clears,” continued Silva. “We think we’ve picked a great spot where kids can hang out and have fun after school. It will help build confidence, and even boys and girls late getting interested in the sport can throw and catch with a lacrosse ball to pick up skills. That’s also true of so many other sports.”

Silva said because the wall is not up against the school there won’t be issues with broken windows or other damage. The area around the wall is at least 50 feet on both sides so even misses won’t bounce out into the street. Two people back to back can practice ground balls or other skills.

“The lacrosse players are really excited about it, and we know we’ve chosen a safe, secure place to put the structure,” said Silva. “The company will pour it on site, and then transport it along with a big crane to set it in place on a bed of gravel the city will put down. We know it’s not going anywhere with 3,000 pounds of concrete. I plan to take pictures of the whole process.”

Last fall the project was approved by the city and school committee, and it was full speed ahead. The object is to provide a place to go to improve stick handling and other skills both in season and off. It is not only to improve eye-hand coordination, but a community building tool. Some other communities such as Hingham, Westwood, Sudbury, Scituate, Marshfield, and Weston have wall ball facilities.

“It has been great working with Beverly lacrosse parents, the players, BHS lacrosse coaches, the city, high school administrators, school committee, and the Department of Public Works to organize and coordinate the details to have the structure installed at the high school,” said Silva.

Beverly Lacrosse Boosters Association includes the boys and girls youth programs, and high school boys lacrosse. It is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Anyone wishing to make a donation can go online to https://gofund.me/2e22a4eb. The GoFundMe campaign is still running to raise the rest of the money for the project, and Silva will put pictures of the Wall on the BLBA Facebook page once it is installed.

Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN

Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN

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