The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

Their Own Turf

Their+Own+Turf

The BVN softball and baseball teams had their home opener Saturday, March 23. Full turf baseball and softball fields have been added to the campus for the teams to play their home games at this season. 

Every year the district allocates a certain amount of money for each school known as Capital Outlay. This money is spent primarily on facilities and improvements to furniture within classrooms. The most recent use for the district was to give every high school a full turf infield for their baseball and softball fields. Before this bond, the teams played all of their home games at BVNW because BVN didn’t have a field with seats for the public. 

BVN Softball Coach Stevie Gibson is excited about the implementation of turf. 

 “Turf changes the game of softball tremendously,” Gibson said. “It makes the ball move faster, which then makes our girls move quicker. You can really use the field to your advantage, especially with slap hitters and push bunts.” 

Story continues below advertisement

The Mustang softball program has grown in Gibson’s time at BVN from 11 players the year after COVID to 29 this season. However, even with the team’s increased success and involvement, fan turnout at games is still lacking. 

“Hopefully having a field on campus will draw a better crowd,” Gibson said. “We can definitely see that happening. It will be great to see navy and gray and white all over.”

While both the baseball and softball fields are available for games and practices now, the complex surrounding the fields likely will not be finished until next year. 

“We will get bathrooms next year, and a press box hopefully by the end of the season,” Gibson said.

One thing that separates BVN fields from schools around the district is that the softball field does not have lights. 

“I’m not too worried about not having lights,” Gibson said. “We will just start earlier, which is what [Bishop] Miege does,”  

In addition to all high schools in the district getting turf softball fields, each school also got turf baseball fields. BVN baseball head coach Michael Dudley has been coaching the team since 2016. With the new fields, he’s now able to coach games at BVN.

“It’s just been awesome,” Dudley said. “It’s great for the community and the kids around the district. The best thing about turf is that when we’ve got a chance of moisture or rain, the turf doesn’t soak up as much or need much time to dry, so we don’t have to worry about it and can practice.” 

While many coaches prefer playing on grass, Dudley believes that with the Kansas climate, turf is more reliable. 

“In a perfect world, we’re playing on perfectly maintained grass,” Dudley said. “With the climate we’re in, and with the fact that I teach, and don’t have all day to be taking care of grass, turf is the perfect surface.”

Currently, the plan is that softball will start their games at 3:30, and baseball will start their home games around 4:30. Ideally, they would be able to push those games back later in the day to avoid the heat, but they don’t currently have stadium lights. 

“Later in the spring, playing at 7 p.m. can be a 15-degree difference versus 4:30 or 5,” Dudley said.

Because of working parents, the option of a time change would be ideal so they can see as much of the game as possible after work. 

“Hopefully we will be playing late into the spring and making a nice postseason run like last season,” Dudley said.

 The BVN baseball team was the runner-up in the 2023 KSHSAA 6A state baseball tournament. Dudley said he hopes the team’s success can continue this season and thinks that this, partnered with the field at BVN, will help encourage fans to show up at games. 

“We’ve got a lot of foot traffic with the neighborhoods around us, and it would be fun to have the option to build a student deck,” Dudley said. “Now that we have a field, we have that option.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jack Hancock, Staff Writer
Jack Hancock is a senior and staff writer for “The North Star.” This is their first year on staff. They have covered Mustang athletics, Student life and news around the district. Outside of the newsroom, they enjoy announcing for Mustang athletics, singing in choir and announcing for Rockhurst University. They are excited to grow as a journalist and get to know the rest of the news staff.   

Comments (0)

All THE NORTH STAR Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *