By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Tyrone is in need of a baseball field, and money is in demand to help the district realize that dream.
On Sept. 14, the school’s booster club will host a fundraiser to get some of that money. Baseball coach Clay Witt said the event will raise funding for other booster club activities as well, but the primary concern is a facility for Tyrone’s boys of summer.
“We’re building a baseball field from scratch,” he said.
Tyrone resurrected its baseball program four years ago, and currently, players practice on a softball field.
“It doesn’t have the right dimensions that baseball does,” Witt said. “It makes it difficult to practice.”
Since the program came back into existence, Tyrone baseball has not played a single home game.
“We play on the road all the time,” Witt said.
In addition to money, the coach said the fundraiser looks to bring a new level of enthusiasm for Tyrone baseball.
“We’ve got a lot of good players coming up, and we’re hoping to have them a field in the future,” he said.
The fundraiser itself will be a day long festival, and Witt described some of the activities taking place throughout the day.
“We’re going to have a 5K and 3K walk and run in the morning,” he said. “There’ll be some fun activities to do. There’ll be bouncy houses and dunk booths. Different businesses will have a booth set up here and there. We’ve got some sponsors that are helping to bring in some bands that will start playing in the afternoon. It’s just going to be a day of fun. There’ll be concessions and a fish fry that’ll be available. We’re hoping to just raise money and have a fun time that day.”
Witt said land has already been selected for the site of the field, and the district has pipe to build the skeleton of the field. The money raised from the Sept. 14 event and others will go toward purchasing other items.
“We’re needing chain link fence and to put in a sprinkler system,” he said.
Witt said the district has gotten some quotes on what building a field would cost, and he believes about $20,000 would make the dream a reality.
“We know that’s going to take time to go out and raise that, and just one event is not going to get that done,” he said. “We’re hoping to have a good start at it and see how far we can get.”
Witt said the baseball field, at this point, is still in the beginning stages.
“We do have the land, and we’ve kind of drawn it up on paper what we hope to have it look like someday,” he said. “We haven’t gotten that far yet as far as having official blueprints. It’s still in the planning stages.”
Witt said with some good baseball prospects in the near future, he hopes to have those players on the new field.
“I’ve got a good young group of junior high kids, and we’re sure hoping to have one by the time they get up into high school,” he said. “We’ve got a good freshman class and a couple of good seventh and eighth grade classes. We really have some talent coming up, and so in the next two to three years, we’re wanting to make that happen.”
Witt said for now, though, playing elsewhere is just a way of life.
“It’s tough playing all games on the road, but it’s just what we do,” he said. “We don’t gripe about it. We just get on the bus and go.”
Witt said some of the games are pretty close in towns such as nearby Hooker and Turpin, but other locales mean more time on the road.
“We go to Booker, Texas, and Minneola,” he said. “We go to Sublette, Moscow and Beaver. Shattuck is another one. You can end up spending quite a few hours on the bus heading to the next game.”