Riverhead Little League eyes Iron Point Park field in Flanders

Riverhead Little League is hoping to use the field at Iron Point Park in Flanders in the future, according to Jeremy Savio, the league’s president.

The Iron Point field had been the home of Flanders Little League until that league was folded into Riverhead’s in 2014 due to lack of participation.

Unlike the fields at Stotzky Park that Riverhead Little League currently uses, the Iron Point field has lights, allowing for night games, Mr. Savio said.

“We’re looking to try to use that field in some capacity,” he said. “Whether it’s for practices or games or rainouts. We definitely want to try and use it, even if it’s for just one game a week.”

Having lights at the field is a big draw, he said.

“What I’d really like to try to do is maybe get one night game a week on a Friday or Saturday, and we can rotate the teams so everybody gets a chance to play under the lights. The kids seem to get a kick out of playing at night.”

Mr. Savio said that while Little League participation had dropped off a few years ago, the league’s size has increased in the last two years by about 10 or 20 more players.

He said baseball has lost some kids to lacrosse, but the league has been trying to rework their schedules so kids can play both sports.

The current Little League season is nearly over, so a final decision won’t be needed until February or March, according to Mr. Savio.

The Iron Point field is owned by Southampton Town, and is part of a 144-acre property on Reeves Park that the town purchased from the Goodale family in 2001 for $3.4 million. The town had initially planned a much more extensive park at Iron Point, but that plan has yet to come to fruition.

The property had been planned for development as a 44-lot residential subdivision when the town purchased it.

Ron Fisher, the president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, said he had walked the field with Kristen Doulos, the director of Southampton Town’s parks department and she was “very receptive” to the idea of allowing Riverhead Little League to use the Iron Point field.

Ms. Doulos said the town is happy to have Little League games at Iron Point. The field has been underutilized since Flanders Little League left, she said. 

The road to Iron Point Park, which is at the end of Wood Road Trail in Flanders, had been in bad shape, but Mr. Fisher said the highway department repaired the entrance road after learning that the field was used for medevac helicopter airlifts by the Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance and the Flanders Fire Department.

“It’s great that we’re reactivating both Ludlam Avenue Park in Riverside and Iron Point Park in Flanders,” Mr. Fisher said at the last FRNCA meeting. “It’s a great partnership between Riverhead and Flanders and the town of Southampton, which really stepped up to improve the parks.”

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Photo caption: Iron Point Park in Flanders. (Tim Gannon photo)