The Blue and Gold has played its home games at Shadow Mountain, a mere stone’s throw away from Raider Nation, but the prospect of playing on a diamond on campus is a day that many have looked forward to. That day is still in the making
“I don’t know if we ever had a hard-set date,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “We have always been shooting for sometime in April and it’s still our goal to reach that target. As of today and talking to my parents, who are the project managers, we’re still on task for that unless something goofy changes.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve had any hiccups, but none of us have ever built a field before so it’s been a learning process for us. There are proper channels through which you need to work through so we’re learning and we’re working through those. The district has been fine in working with us and the school has been great in supporting us and we have a great group of parents. It’s just been figuring out that learning curve because we’ve never done it before.”
As those behind the making of the new home for the Lady Raiders still work out the kinks of building a softball field, progress has been made.
“We’ve gotten the dugouts and all the masonry work completed and we just started painting,” Reed Athletic Director Ron Coombs said. “Right now, tentatively, we are looking toward April. Our goal is to be playing on that field in April. We don’t have an exact date yet just because we’re waiting for material and for some work to be done but we’re very hopeful and positive that we’ll be playing on it this year.”
While the outlook of the new field remains optimistic, Coombs said that there have been some hurdles during the process.
“The biggest obstacle is the money, as it is with anything. We’ve gotten a ton of things donated and there’s been a lot of labor and material donated, but things still cost money,” Coombs said. “We’re still doing fundraisers to put more money towards it to make sure we have all the things that we want.
“We have a brick program fundraiser going that allows people to buy bricks online that will be placed in the dugout. We’ve had quite a few orders on those. On March 28, Vista Grill is going to donate a percentage of every meal from that day toward the softball field. On top of that, our softball team is hosting a poker tournament and we have a grant request in right now that we’re waiting to hear on. So again, it’s a money issue and it’s an issue of how much we can raise and how many bells and whistles we can put on that thing this year. If it comes down to just dirt and grass and a fence, that’s what we’ll play with and we’ll continue to improve it until we get it the way we want it to be.”
Despite the various speed bumps that the construction has encountered, the softball team is eager to take its new field.
“They would just be happy to make sure they played at least one game on it, especially since we have five seniors,” Wunder said. “We haven’t told them a date really. We’ve just told them that they will play on it. They’re excited but when they see it and know that we’re playing on it, it’s going to be a whole different game. To be honest, I’m kind of worried about that game because I think there is going to be so much emotions and excitement that we’re going to have to settle them down. We’ll certainly practice on it and we may even scrimmage our JV on it the day before to just kind of get those butterflies and that excitement out so that when we do play, we’re ready to play a real game.”
The girls are not the only ones chomping at the bit to bring the program back to the Blue and Gold stomping grounds.
“We’re excited and ready to go, too,” Coombs said. “It’s a big deal to have them back on campus and I think it makes it more of a complete program just to play at home. To have them on campus I think is more of an ideal situation. Shadow Mountain and the city of Sparks have been great. They’ve always been very generous with time and consideration as far as using the field, but it’s just time for our kids to play at home.”