Heavy earthmoving equipment pushed dirt around July 10 as crews constructed the new Englewood High School softball field in the Hosanna Sports Complex.
Softball coach Dave Chapman said he and the players are excited about the new field.
“For 18 seasons, we have had to travel to practice and to our home games, which meant our equipment storage area and the girls locker room was at the high school so, if something wasn't in my van, we didn't have it,” he said. “Now, in our 19th season, we'll have a home field at the high school. I think that will attract more attention to softball, maybe bring out some more players and possibly bring out some students to watch us play. I just think it'll be great for the players and for our program.”
David Henderson, school operations, maintenance and transportation director, said building a softball field near the high school has been talked about for several years and the planning finally got underway in late 2012.
“The work is moving along on schedule and we are pushing to have the field completed by Aug. 15 so the Pirate girls softball team can practice on the new field and play their home games there,” he said.
The field is being placed to the east of the baseball diamond. It will be like a mirror image of Wise Field, where the baseball backstop is at the north end of the field, while the softball backstop will be to the south end of that field.
It will be a full-size softball field and the fences down the baselines will be 200 feet from home plate.
Henderson said the field is being built using school district capital funds at a cost of $448,000. He stressed the softball field construction is not part of the $40 million voter-approved bond project that is building the new seventh- through 12th-grade campus on the Englewood High School site and remaking the middle school into the new Colorado's Finest Alternative High School campus.
In past years, the Pirates girls softball team practiced and played some games at Denny Miller Field. For the last few years, they have played home games on the Brent Mayne softball field near Centennial Park. It was a good field but not at the high school, so the new field is being built in part to comply with federal requirements for equal facilities for male and female sports teams.
The land being used for the new softball field means there will be one less soccer field in the Hosanna Sports Complex.
“There will be one less soccer field in the complex,” Henderson agreed. “However, part of the bond project is establishing a practice field north of the high school stadium that will be probably be available to teams that used to play on the Hosanna field.”