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Turfed Up: Are Upgrades for the JV Softball and Baseball Fields Underway?

CHS+slow+pitch+softball%2C+courtesy+of+CHS+Yearbook
CHS slow pitch softball, courtesy of CHS Yearbook

Many Camas High School (CHS) students recently noticed the quality differences between the JV and varsity softball and baseball fields. The varsity teams for both sports enjoy turf fields for practice. Meanwhile, the JV teams practice on standard dirt fields. Both softball and baseball can be played on both turf and dirt, so is making the JV fields turf a big priority for CHS?

Due to weather restrictions, many Washington high school softball and baseball teams switched to turf fields. The high school teams play in the spring, and due to rain, fields with dirt will get rained out. 

CHS v. Mark Morris slow pitch softball game, courtesy of CHS Yearbook

So, why have the fields not been redone? Sadly, revamping the fields is not a spotlight issue for CHS, as the school tackles many other problems with funding. In addition, many students believe Cardon Field needs to be redone since the turf is now 13 years old and used often by multiple sports. 

Money is also a significant factor; a bond is the first step in renovating.

“If we were going to make a [turf] baseball and softball field [for the JV teams] today, it would probably cost over a million dollars,” CHS Athletic Director Stephen Baranowski said. “If I had to prioritize something right now, I would say it would be replacing the turf that we have before we put new turf on facilities.”

Students find that a significant problem with dirt fields is canceled games due to poor weather conditions.

Many say that the fields are not in good shape, and while they are playable, they need more work to decrease flooding. Flooding can be prevented by changing the design to combat water flooding in certain areas. Those who describe the fields after heavy rain would say that pockets become deeper after every flood, which they believe is a big problem that needs to be addressed.

CHS slow pitch softball, courtesy of CHS Yearbook

“I personally prefer turf over dirt [fields] since we live in the Pacific Northwest and any amount of rain can ruin dirt fields,” CHS junior and baseball swing player Cai Davis said. “This is especially true with our dirt field here at Camas, as every day it rained we would have to use brooms and vacuums to try and get the puddles of water off the field.”

Many players believe the best solution to this issue would be to revamp the dirt fields into turf.

“I think the JV field should definitely be redone with turf, and I hope it’s done as soon as possible. Every year, the field gets worse, while the varsity field is consistently great to play on,” Davis said. “Last year, I looked forward to any day I could play on the varsity field, and I was very grateful to be able to practice on it rather than the JV field.”

Opinions of the softball field were similar to views of the baseball field. The JV fields were consistently described as unkept since the dirt is difficult to manage against rainy weather. Therefore, many players are persistent in getting turf put into the JV fields.

“I think the JV field should be turf so it’s easier for players who are swingers to adjust to playing on the other field,” CHS student Wehrli-Martinez said.

In some eyes, the fields are playable, which is all that matters. While the fields can be redone, there is not enough issue or funding to put in the time and money to add turf to the JV fields.

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Lilia Boyd, Copy Editor

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