Baseball field garners regional award

Sean C. Morgan

Sweet Home High School’s baseball field has been named the 2014 Field of the Year for the Pacific Coast Region by Baseball Coaches of America.

“This is a program effort in which I’d like to thank each and every one of you for all of your work, dedication and commitment in making our field so excellent,” said Coach Matt Matuszak in a message to people involved in the program. “What an honor. This is an award for our entire School District and community to be proud of.”

Matuszak will attend the Baseball Coaches of American convention in Nashville, Tenn., in December to receive the award.

“It’s quite the honor,” he said. “We’ve put a lot of work, a lot of money, a lot of blood, sweat and tears in that field.”

Over the past five years, Matuszak and his players, coaches and parents have excavated the field, planted new grass, replaced field dirt and built fences for the dugouts. He could list many more projects that helped improve the field.

This year, the coaching staff built a new scoreboard.

“They apparently really liked what we have going on here,” Matuszak said. “Now we’re nominated for the nationals.”

It’s been a community effort, he said, especially involving the players and assistant coaches.

A lot of people have helped out with donations and fund-raising events, he said.

Ask the players what the worst part of baseball is, they’ll say it’s the field work, he said. They stay busy maintaining the field, dragging the field and edging.

“I look forward to the next phases and plans to continue improving our facilities in the future,” Matuszak said. “We’re always looking to improve. We’re always going to try to make that field better.”

Among improvements he would like to see are new lights, he said, although he doesn’t have any specific plans to replace them any time soon.

The district had to take down the old lights because the poles had dry rot.

Replacements are expensive, he said, “but if anybody wanted to donate poles and lights, I’d be the first to open the gate.”