Field of Dreams

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

— A new sea­son ar­rived Tues­day for the Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School soft­ball team, and the play­ers cel­e­brated by chris­ten­ing the school’s new soft­ball field with a 17-3 vic­tory over Cr­is­field.

The new field is lo­cated be­tween the base­ball field and foot­ball sta­dium, al­low­ing for the team to play on cam­pus rather than at the Christ Rock sports fa­cil­ity.

“The field is beau­ti­ful,” said head coach Ka­reem Otey. “The con­struc­tion crews and staff did a great job. We are ex­cited to have a great home here on cam­pus.”

The new field fea­tures a more reg­u­la­tion-sized lay­out with in­field dimensions for fast-pitch soft­ball, and out­field fences just lit­tle over 200 feet from home plate.

The Christ Rock field also was used for base­ball with fences more than 350 feet away and a base­ball-sized in­field. The change will al­low for more home runs since no player has hit a ball over the fence at Christ Rock dur­ing Otey’s ten­ure.

“In the past, we had a lot of balls hit that would have been home runs at other fields but ended with outs at Christ Rock,” Otey said. “Now, the girls will get re­warded for putting a good swing on the ball.”

Otey said the team has been hav­ing fun with the idea of who would hit the team’s first home run.

“We may do a home run derby in prac­tice this week to see who could be the first,” she added. “The girls are ex­cited. This field is some­thing they can take own­er­ship of. They can make their mem­o­ries here.”

The Vik­ings did not hit any home runs in Tues­day’s 17-3 open­ing day vic­tory against Cr­is­field. Freshman Paige Phillips pitched and picked up her first ca­reer win. Sopho­more Sab­rina McKelvey re­ceived player of the game honors by go­ing 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases.

Cam­bridge-SD Ath­letic Direc­tor Dan Do­bronz said he at­tended both base­ball and soft­ball games, and en­joyed how fans and par­ents could walk freely be­tween fields.

“It was just re­ally cool sit­ting back and feel­ing a part of both games,” he said. “The park­ing lot was packed. There were par­ents and fans all over the place. You could see people walk­ing back and forth.

“It was a re­ally cool at­mos­phere,” he added. “I en­vi­sion a con­ces­sion stand to fur­ther con­nect the fields for the fu­ture.”

Cam­bridge-SD has re­ceived sev­eral state honors for its fa­cil­i­ties, and hosts many Bay­side Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship events, in­clud­ing the basketball, cross coun­try, wrestling and out­door track and field cham­pi­onships, as well as the se­nior foot­ball and basketball all-star games and the Dis­trict VIII ten­nis cham­pi­onships.

The school re­ceived the Bay­side Con­fer­ence’s 2016 Sports­man­ship Award, earn­ing high marks for its fa­cil­i­ties and the way its ath­letes in­ter­acted with other schools. Cri­te­ria for the Sports­man­ship Award in­cludes ex­pe­ri­ence at the school’s fa­cil­i­ties.

In April 2016, the main­te­nance staff at Cam­bridge-SD re­ceived the Sil­ver Ham­mer Award for in­no­va­tive fa­cil­ity up­keep from Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot. Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester is a shin­ing ex­am­ple for ex­cep­tional school main­te­nance, Fran­chot said dur­ing his visit to the school last April.

“I would just like to take a mo­ment and rec­og­nize all the in­di­vid­u­als who have en­sured that Cam­bridgeSouth Dorch­ester is in tip­top shape,” Fran­chot said. “I’m par­tic­u­larly grate­ful to Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester and the su­perb main­te­nance team here for their dili­gent work in keep­ing this school in great shape. Their ef­forts are well rec­og­nized and doc­u­mented by the rat­ing that this school re­ceived dur­ing its most re­cent state inspection.

“This award that we give to­day is one of the most im­por­tant in the en­tire state of Mary­land,” he said. “This award is a unique recog­ni­tion given by state govern­ment.”

Cam­bridge-SD con­tin­ues with fa­cil­ity im­prove­ment projects. Last year, the school built a new press box for Vik­ing Sta­dium and added WiFi to the press box. In De­cem­ber, the basketball teams chris­tened a new, 94foot wood basketball floor.

“Cam­bridge is in the per­fect spot,” Do­bronz said. “We are lit­er­ally the cen­ter-point of the Bay­side Con­fer­ence. Teams like com­ing here.

“We are proud to add top-notch soft­ball field to go along with our other top­notch fa­cil­i­ties,” he said. “It is great for the school and great for the community.”

The Vik­ings hit the road for the next three games, but re­turn home to host St. Michaels at 4 p.m. Wed­nes­day, March 29.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High’s soft­ball team opened its new soft­ball field with a 17-3 vic­tory over Cr­is­field Tues­day, March 21.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High’s soft­ball team opened its new soft­ball field with a 17-3 vic­tory over Cr­is­field Tues­day, March 21.

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