Thursday, May 8, 2003

Covington says thanks to Bill Cappel with new sports complex

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - For more than 60 years, Bill Cappel personified Tristate baseball and softball.

The 90-year-old World War II veteran organized women's softball in Covington, co-founded the Northern Kentucky Umpires Association and collected a world championship trophy in 1939 as a member of Nick Carr's Kentucky Boosters of Covington.

What: Dedication of the Bill Cappel Youth Sports Complex
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: 43rd Street entryway to the sports complex
Information: (859) 292-2151
When he wasn't managing a team, umpiring a game or serving as a volunteer groundskeeper, Cappel was devoting time to his family and his Catholic faith.

Covington officials will recognize Cappel's many contributions Saturday, when they dedicate the Bill Cappel Youth Sports Complex at 43rd Street and Decoursey.

"I don't think they could have picked a better person,'' said Bill Eilers, publicity director for the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame. "He's the Sportsman of the Century."

The $2.2 million complex features five baseball fields, all lit for night games, a "zero depth" water park complete with slides and spouts, a modular skate park, a concession stand and paved trails around every ballfield for walking, jogging and biking, said Covington Recreation Director Denny Bowman.

By fall, the city also plans to open three newly renovated soccer fields at the site.

The much-anticipated water park should open by early June, Bowman said.

"We'd hoped to open the water park last year, but there was a problem with the filtration system," he said. "They're correcting that now."

Covington's new water park is modeled after one in Winton Woods State Park in Hamilton County. It would replace the old Rosedale Pool, which was damaged in the 1997 flood and later closed.


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