Vikings anxious to make ‘Field of Dreams’ debut
For the past seven years, playing on the “Field of Dreams” has literally been a dream for South Tahoe High softball team.
Heavy loads of snow have made the field unplayable the past few years and before that the multiuse field project stalled from time to time.
But the Vikings are on the verge of their first true home game in school history following a Tuesday afternoon practice/yard work that soaked up the few remaining puddles.
“We’ve been waiting every year to play on it. We want to be on there,” said Johnson, a third-year manager, who feels the Vikings can host today’s 2:30 p.m. doubleheader with Wooster at the school.
The alternative is to play the twinbill at the home away from home, Tahoe Valley Elementary School, and hope that winter won’t return before Saturday’s season-ending “home” doubleheader with Reed.
Viking Athletic Director Frank Kovac walked the field before Johnson and his team did their dirty work on Tuesday and was convinced that the school should wait until Saturday to make its Field of Dreams debut.
“With some luck and warm, dry weather we might be able to get Saturday’s doubleheader in there,” Kovac said. “One of these years we’re going to luck out and have it dry out quickly and play our games like we’re supposed to.”
A final decision regarding a prep playing site must be made by 8 a.m. the day of the event. After four hours of gardening at the field Tuesday, Johnson is convinced it’s time to give the field a try.
“I’m pooped. As of now I think it’s playable,” he said.
City of South Lake Tahoe Parks Superintendent Steve Weiss, a force behind the Field of Dreams project from the get-go, was elated to hear that the field will finally be used for an official Viking game.
“I’m glad to finally see that field put to the use that it was intended for,” Weiss said.
Contributions, volunteer labor and money raised through the Athletic Coordinating Council led to the completion of the two-field $145,000 project. Little League, American Softball Association, adult soccer, club soccer and adult softball participants contribute $7 of their playing fees to improving the city’s 10 athletic fields, Weiss said.
Although the Viking softball team has struggled to get on the field, other teams haven’t. Youth soccer, adult softball and youth softball have all held games at the facility, and Little League and Viking football have practiced there. The finish line of the Vikings’ home cross country meet also ends on the Field of Dreams.
Johnson says the Vikings would have a greater edge playing on campus.
“We wouldn’t have to bus kids to the field, we could keep the equipment there and we wouldn’t have to worry about (inconveniencing) another school,” Johnson said.
For the past six years the sod has been in place and the backstop and dugouts were installed three and two years ago, respectively. Yet, the Vikings only practiced on the field once before Tuesday’s enthusiastic practice.
“I want to play here if at all possible, and frankly, we’re really excited about it,” Johnson said.
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