Hitting Facility Now in Play


Bella Pittman

Indoor preview of the new hitting facility at City High. Workers are laying down turf at this point.

Bella Pittman, Sports Reporter

The new City High hitting facility has wowed many students, teachers and the community. As of now, the new facility does not have a defined opening date, but worse case scenario, it will open in the beginning of 2015.

The facility is 60 feet by 80 feet and will house cages and turf inside. Varsity baseball head coach Brian Mitchell gives details about the facilities advantages.

“It’ll allow for us to have four half cages and two long cages and in there we have turf. The nets are retractable therefore we can open the whole thing up and then we will have pitching mounds in there and other strength training type of stuff,” Coach Mitchell said.

Incredibly it has been a long yet successful run to get to where the facility and school is at now. Fortunately the people around the community have helped out a lot with the huge process of funding this building. It was not easy, according to Mitchell but at this point it’s told roughly $180,000 in donations went towards the building of the facility.

“We have been raising money for over two years on this but it’s really been on the trajectory,” Mitchell said. “We have worked really hard to get donations but we have also put on a lot of events to be able to piece it together.”

Turf and retractable nets will be play a big role in the new facility as well as being an advantage to the coaches and players.

Ability to have turf in the winter time the way we will be able to use it, it’s a big competitive advantage, from what the rest of the schools in the state have. The retractable nets are also valuable because it allows us to use the facility more efficiently,” Mitchell said.

In the past, the team would have hittings at Diamond Dreams in Coralville. Although Coach Mitchell has been apart of Diamond Dreams for quite some time and the team has been able to utilize and have the benefit of holding their hittings there Mitchell and the team are ready to move on.

“We aren’t competing for time, its specific for us. And just for the kids to be able to use it right on campus is a real key drive,” Mitchell said.

Although the team will still be using Mercer Park’s fields during the summer, having this facility on school campus is most certainly an advantage.

“There is going to be a lot of great opportunities for us to use this here on campus,” Mitchell said. “What it will allow us to do is to have access to at least three days during the week, depending how we work it out with softball, but odds are we’ll have block time that the kids will be able to hit any day of the week.”

Not only Mitchell is looking forward to this years season and the new facility- players such as varsity player Brett McCleary ‘17 are just as prepared and excited.

“It is so convenient to me and my teammates. If we ever need to get some swings or throw a bullpen we have place right at our school,” McCleary said.

As good as it is to have individual advantages with this facility, it is also a great feeling to accomplish the goal of having one on campus especially because the teams competitors have one at their school.

“It feels good to catch up and probably surpass where most of the other schools are. You always want that competitive advantage but I don’t think results, you may see some of it immediately but it’s a long term thing,” Mitchell said.

The new facility has been on its way. Varsity player Bryn Hanrahan ‘17 finds the new facility beneficial to the Little Hawk softball team.

“The new facility will benefit us by not having to worry about finding times at a different facility, we will be able to use it when we want and it will help both the softball and baseball team,” Hanrahan said.

Mitchell believes that baseball in general needs a specific way of development and that this facility, although years down the road, will help the players improve with those skills.

“Baseball is such a specific sport it’s not one of those things you can generally just pick up specially when it comes to hitting,” Mitchell said. “For our kids to be able to hit year round or much more than just within the season, it’s a repetitive process that helps with skilled development.”

McCleary is not only excited for the season but prepared and really believes that with the new help of this facility it can be very beneficial to him and his team.

“I think this facility will be a big benefit to my team and I. Not a lot of schools are fortunate to get an opportunity like this,” McCleary said. “To have a place to go to hit or throw year round will improve our skills tremendously. It will really build our relationships to have a place we can all be at one time.”