SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


They WILL come!
By Davey Lopes


October 04, 2007
Thursday PM

Mr. Barry makes some valid points. And his idea is a perfect start. But let me touch on a couple of his comments.

Yes, in fact. If we build it, they WILL come. In the Lower 48, most sports are played year round. Heck, even in Juneau they play baseball year round. They have a 12-under and 13-over club teams that practices in gyms during the winter. Then they take a trip every year down south - usually Arizona or Washington - where they compete in a baseball tournament. If Ketchikan did have an indoor facility of some sort, you would have no problem having a baseball tournament in January, featuring teams from all over the United States. Look at the Clark Cochrane Christmas Classic in basketball, we have schools from other countries come to play in it. It would be no different for baseball or football or soccer or whatever the sport.

we are not asking or dreaming of a ten million dollar indoor sport s facility.

Ponder this. A small community, HALF the size of Ketchikan. A group of parents get together, hit up some local businesses for donations, pull up their sleeves and through volunteer work, they build an indoor baseball facility. It s nothing huge or fancy, but it s got two batting cages, pitching mounds, and turf so you can field grounders.

The result? One year after being built, the local high school (again, half the size of Ketchikan) goes on to win three consecutive state high school baseball championships! Beating Anchorage and Fairbanks schools. Routinely beating schools that have 4-times as many students. If winning doesn t impress you, surely the fact that their players are getting college scholarships and getting drafted by Major League Baseball teams should!!!

This isn t a fairy tale it s reality. It is happening in Sitka. A group of parents got together and GOT IT DONE. Now their kids are getting scholarships and getting drafted by pro teams. In Sitka.

Local parents, coaches and players just have to work together. Donate their time and energy and labor. Local businesses have to chip in. If other communities can do it so can we!!!!!

And what about state or federal money? It s always amazed me that people want arts and crafts and music and genres like that to receive state or federal tax money. But if you mention sports, they freak out. Your kid is an aspiring actor or trumpet player so tax payers should pay/support a locally ran drama club. But my kid shouldn t get the same support because he plays baseball? It makes no sense.

Basketball dominates this town. Just off the top of my head I can think of 14 indoor basketball courts in Ketchikan. Norman Walker and Dudley fields are just a mess. I d just like to see the community give the other sports as much love as we give basketball. Baseball, soccer and football could all be viable activities for our youth. The entire community just has to take some pride and vest some energy into them

Davey Lopes
Ketchikan, AK

About: Davey Lopes is a local sports fan.

Received October 02, 2007 - Published October 04, 2007


Related Viewpoint:

letter Covered Sports Arena . . . Dream on. By Chris Barry

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska