By Ray Hamill — The 2022 high school baseball season is just around the corner, but at least one local team is still uncertain where it will be playing its home games.
Arcata High school has a brand new sports complex that features a football field, a track and field facility, a soccer field and a new baseball field, all of which was paid for by taxpayer bonds.
The new complex, however, is still in need of some basic facilities and individual teams are fundraising to complete the project.
The school’s baseball team needs to raise around $50,000 for dugouts, foul ball nets, a batting cage, two bullpens and a scoreboard.
“We’re estimating we need at least $50,000 initially,” said Ben Ebert, a parent of one of the players who has set up the Arcata High Baseball Fund to help fund the necessary additions to the facility. “Arcata has been playing its games at McKinleyville and at the Crabs field (Arcata Ball Park) and they’ve never played a home game (on campus), and now we’re almost ready to go, but if we don’t raise the money we need we won’t have the field ready for the season.”
At a minimum, in order to play at the new field this spring, the Tigers need to install dugouts, bullpens and foul ball nets, all of which would cost around $20,000, according to Ebert.
“We need to raise the money quickly,” Ebert said. “Right now, it’s a matter of time and money.”
The program has reached out to alumni for help and the initial response has been positive with around $10K already raised.
But more is needed, and fans can donate through the Arcata High Baseball Fund here.
The old sports fields at Arcata included a practice field for football, a smaller JV baseball field and a soccer field, and the complex was notorious for its terrible drainage.
Many coaches and parents pushed heavily for synthetic all-weather fields during the planning process, but the decision was made to go ahead with grass fields and Ebert admits he is pleasantly surprised with how it all looks.
“It does appear the drainage system is much superior than what was there before,” he said.
Ebert believes the baseball facilities can still be completed before the 2022 season, which is scheduled to begin in March, and that the dugouts and bullpens could be installed within a couple of weeks, as soon as the funds are raised.
“The dugouts are an absolute necessity,” he said. “I can’t imagine any opposing coaches wanting to play there without a dugout.
“I think the most important thing is how easy it is for people to go to the link and give a few bucks, and 100 percent of it goes toward the facilities.”
The Arcata girls soccer team is also fundraising for new uniforms and warm-ups, with the current uniforms seven years old.
Anyone interested in sponsoring or helping should contact the school.