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Community comes together to provide local athletes with new batting cage

FORT KENT, Maine — Community members donated materials and installed posts for a new batting cage that Fort Kent Community High School baseball and softball players can use to sharpen their athletic skills this coming season. 

Volunteers endured frosty weather for close to five hours on Sunday morning to install the batting cage on SAD 27 property located between Jalbert Park and behind the Fort Kent Elementary School.

Fort Kent baseball coach Tracey Hartt said the batting cage has been an idea in the making for several years and could not have been realized without the support of the community. 

“It’s great. All the material was donated and whatever wasn’t donated was purchased by the booster club which wasn’t very much. One thing is that our kids don’t have a lot here in Fort Kent as far as to keep them here, but I’ll tell you what, parents and businesses they just come together just for the good of the kids and it’s amazing to see that because without hesitation we had more than enough workers there yesterday to put this thing up and everybody was doing their part,” Hartt said.

 “You just make a phone call and someone says, ‘yeah, hey I got this or I got that and I’ll bring it over,”  he said.

Community members donated time and materials to install posts for a new batting cage which Fort Kent baseball and softball players will use to sharpen their athletic skills.
(Courtesy of Town of Fort Kent)

Fort Kent softball coach Tamar Philbrook said the batting cage will also benefit her team.

“The new batting cage is a wonderful addition to the Warrior baseball and softball programs. Once we start practicing outside, both teams will be able to utilize the cage,” she said. 

The batting cage will be available for public use, although not during times when the high school teams are practicing.

“This cage is going to maybe draw some interest into the two sports just for the simple fact that anybody can get in there and use it,” Hartt said. 

S.W Collins donated operations of a truck and forklift for the installation of the batting cage. Bart Plourde and Bobby Pelletier also donated the use of equipment. The town of Fort Kent provided the water supply for cement formation. Volunteers included Hartt, assistant baseball coach Jason Nadeau, Denis Paradis, Carl Bouley, Doug Taggett, Doug Cyr, Craig Morneault, Gary Sibley, Cecil Hafford and Jace Rocheleau.

“I don’t know if I could go through everybody that did something and gave something for this project but the main part was the Maine Cedar Store in Portage — his two boys have been playing ball with me for quite some time and he donated all the lumber for that; he went out of his way to pick the trees, saw it, the whole nine yards. I can’t say enough about Jay Rocheleau,” Hartt said. “A lot of businesses and a lot of parents came out to help. When it comes to stuff like this, someone puts it together and gets the ball rolling and everyone pitches in to help. I guess that’s just how Fort Kent is.” 

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