NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For the first time in years, baseball and softball players at Booker T. Washington are back to playing home games on their home diamond, giving the school and the community back their sense of pride.
“This means everything to not just me but the entire community,” said Athletic Director for Booker T. Washington Robin Williams.
It’s been a while, but watching this team practice looks like they’ve been there the whole time. A lot has changed for them to be able to play there.
“The school system has put a lot of work into this field to get it up. We’ve got a new backstop a whole new outfield fence that really puts us into regulation,” said Norfolk Public School Senior Athletic Coordinator Steve Suttmiller.
When 10 On Your Side’s Tamara Scott spoke to Suttmiller in 2019, getting the field back to regulation was a big project and it came at a pretty hefty price of $10,000 dollars.
“It’s significant and it’s well worth it,” he said. “The field is starting to take shape and it is something the Booker T. athletes are proud to play on community is going to be proud to support so we are excited about the direction the baseball field is going and the baseball program.”
Williams said this journey had them playing home games at a different location.
“Azalea little league they welcomed us with open arms, and it wasn’t a big issue but it was hard to facilitate a whole team. When you don’t play at your own home kids pretty don’t even realize you have a baseball softball team,” she said.
But now pride shines through on their home turf.
“So now as we are out here practicing and having games, we have more kids interested in the program and more adults interested in helping with the program. So, we should see some positive uplifting things happening,” she said.
And she says this is only the beginning.
“I’m very excited about the upcoming projects we are looking at getting a closed-in fence hopefully to get irrigation once that’s done, we can get grass infield so we will be looking like real baseballers,” she said.
Suttmiller said they are hoping to start and finish those projects within this year. If you’d like to know when the next home game is click here to see their schedule.