School Athletic Director Jason Woodward Pushes for New Softball Field after Winning Multiple Recent State Titles

by Emily Siansky ‘22

After a state championship season in 2019, girls softball could argue that they deserve a facility worthy of the success of the program. Athletic Director Jason Woodward has been at the forefront of efforts to renovate the current field while also pushing to build a brand new softball facility.

The current varsity field is isolated behind the tennis courts, and it field also needs some maintenance to make it more enjoyable for players and fans.

The ultimate goal, however, is to build a brand new softball complex at the site of the current auxiliary field just outside the cafeteria. However, this “dream field” would not be ready for another two to three years, and will cost upwards of $100,000.

County officials are saying no to Woodward’s proposals and request for the field to be at the location of the auxiliary field. “It’s not our school or our principal, it’s the county that is saying no to this,” Woodward said. It is still unclear why the country is disproving the proposals, but Woodward is still pushing for it to happen.

For the upcoming seasons, smaller renovations are being made to improve the current field. New batting cages, bullpen areas, and dugouts will be added. Additions to the batting cages include netting and leveling off the gravel floor.

The old dugouts were dismantled on September 28. Parent volunteers brought in Bobcat S175s to tear them down. Construction of the dugouts has already started to make them wider and longer for better accommodations for the players.

The new and improved dugouts will also improve the aesthetics of the field, which was another concern. Even though the current players would never play on a new field, they get to experience something new in the way of dugouts. Little fixes like these will improve the players’ experience on the current varsity field before the switch to an entirely new field.

The construction of a new softball facility at the location of the auxiliary field would address some issues the current field has. “Being closer to the school would be better for the safety and security of players and parents,” Woodward said. “They wouldn’t be as exposed to inclement weather like pop-up thunderstorms.” Woodward also hoped that a closer field would yield to “more student and school involvement at games.”

The current varsity field is not very accessible, but especially to those with disabilities and the elderly. There is no path to get from the school to the far corner. Those who want to go to games have to walk through a practice field with other teams.

Coach Ashley Barber-Strunk agrees that renovations are necessary to the enjoyment and accessibility to the players, parents, and fans. “We deserve to have good facilities,” Barber-Strunk said. “The hope is for teams down the line to continue updating the field and making it better.”