Smithton has new home fields for its baseball and softball programs. The Tigers and Lady Tigers will take the field in the spring of 2016 at the Smithton Youth Sports facility off Highway TT, about a mile south of US 50.
The move will allow baseball and softball to each have its own field. In previous years, the teams had to share a field east of the high school with Tiger soccer and with each other.
“It’s been tough just with practices,” said Tigers baseball coach Rich Pond. “If we both practice outside, one would have to be deep into the outfield and the other would have to practice on the dirt and then you switch. You’re always overlapping, especially baseball because it will go farther than a softball will.”
In addition to sharing a field for practice, the Tigers and Lady Tigers previously had to share the field for games, playing doubleheaders while moving the bases between games. Now, the baseball and softball teams will be able to play at the same time on adjacent fields, a common practice in the Kaysinger Conference. There was also no center-field fence at the old field since the Smithton soccer field cuts through right-field and center-field. That will not be an issue at the new field.
“It’s enclosed, it’s a nice facility, it will be nice for us,” Pond said.
Smithton Youth Sports took over the fields at the first of the year and set to work making improvements. SYS president Darin Stoll said they have made improvements to the bathrooms and concession stand. There are also plans to install lights.
“It had been abandoned and we’ve worked really hard repairing bleachers and painting and getting things back up in running order,” Stoll said.
With community involvement and Smithton R-VI superintendent Dr. Matt Teeter working with Smithton Youth Sports, the fields will become home to the Smithton youth sports program, will soon be home to the Tigers and Lady Tigers as well.
Pond thinks Smithton might still use the old field for practice at times in the spring instead of traveling to the new field every day but the new fields are there for them.
“That facility will make it nice,” he said.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles