Ridgeview High’s baseball and softball teams will be getting a boost, with the help of artificial turf that might have an interesting origin.
Work has started on new batting cages in a 1,600-square-foot building just beyond the right field wall at the softball park. The building has been used for storage.
“It was really built originally as a batting cage,” said Kevin Bryant, the Redmond School District’s athletic director.
Going in the building will be previously used artificial turf, which Bryant said was donated by Montreal-based FieldTurf through its regional representative, Lake Oswego football coach Steve Coury.
According to FieldTurf’s website, the company’s football clients include the universities of Oregon and Washington and the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks.
It’s the latter of those teams that came to mind last week when one of several rolls of turf outside the batting cage building had “Seahawks” spray-painted on it. Bryant said he is happy to get the turf, whether or not it was used by the NFL team.
“It could have been from the Seahawks’ field,” he said. “We were just taking what we were given. It wasn’t the issue, it was that they had FieldTurf they were looking to donate.”
Some Ravens supporters went to pick up the turf in Tualatin, Bryant said.
The Seahawks, who use FieldTurf at CenturyLink Field and at their practice facility in nearby Renton, Washington, did not respond to requests for comment. A FieldTurf spokesman declined to comment about the company’s recycling program.
The Seahawks did announce in June that they were replacing the FieldTurf installed in 2016 at CenturyLink Field with new FieldTurf Revolution 360 but did not say what they were doing with the old turf. The Seahawks share the stadium with Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer.
Could the turf have been from a different Seahawks? Possibly. Several college teams with the Seahawks nickname use artificial turf, but the closest with football appears to be Cabrillo College in the San Francisco Bay area.
The batting cage will eventually have a couple batting tee stations, as well as an area for soft toss, where balls are thrown underhanded to batters, said Ridgeview baseball coach Dave Wales.
“For baseball, it will be a little tight, but it will enable us to at least be able to work on some of our offensive portions of the game,” Wales said.
The Ravens have had to use an off-campus batting cage. Bryant said such an on-campus cage could have come in handy in the 2019 season, when numerous teams shared the gym because of heavy snow that covered the ground.
“To have one on campus will be a great help during the winter months and during the season,” he said.
Now, the baseball team will only have to schedule hitting around Ridgeview’s softball team. When they had to use the off-campus facility, which is owned by the family of former Ridgeview and current Oregon State baseball player George Mendazona, Wales said they also had to work around youth teams.
“It made it a little bit more difficult for transportation purposes, especially for the students who don’t drive and rely on their parents for transportation,” Wales said.
Redmond High already has an indoor batting cage, Bryant said.
The equipment that had been stored in the room that will be used as a batting cage will be moved to an area under the football stadium stands, Bryant said.
Bryant hopes players will be hitting in the revamped room by the end of October.
“We’re getting all the pieces in place to make that happen,” he said.
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