Skyline baseball gets new facility

A strip of yellow caution tape strung between the netless backstop and the seats behind home plate at Skyline´s baseball diamond warns pedestrians of ongoing construction as the baseball team practices on the new field Jan. 26.  All construction projects at the baseball field are scheduled to be finished in time for the season opener against Basrstow College Feb. 4. (Neill Herbert)

A strip of yellow caution tape strung between the netless backstop and the seats behind home plate at Skyline´s baseball diamond warns pedestrians of ongoing construction as the baseball team practices on the new field Jan. 26. All construction projects at the baseball field are scheduled to be finished in time for the season opener against Basrstow College Feb. 4. (Neill Herbert)

Skyline has a new baseball field that is not only a beautiful addition to the campus, or just for the baseball players. It will help the entire the school.

The field took from August to the first week of Jan. to complete and already it is being called one of the best fields around.

“It is one of the best fields in the state, if not the best,” Athletic Director Andreas Wolf said. “I get phone calls daily from the immediate community and other athletic directors saying our field is the best field in the state.”

Baseball coach Dino Nomicos said, “There are 86 community college baseball teams in the state and this field is one of the best.”

Most of the field was changed. The bleachers behind home plate not changed. The fence behind home plate and all in front of it was changed. Also, the field’s turf is now synthetic with a brand new wood wall, new poles and a new walkway to the field that used to be mud.

Coach Nomicos loves the new field and considers it his classroom.

“I am an educator and the baseball field is like my classroom,” Nomicos said. “I’ve always loved coming here and now it’s like icing on the cake to come to this field.”

The field will lift spirits, give the baseball players an edge over other community college baseball players and help out the college.

With the new synthetic field, no matter when it rains, the players will never have to worry about not being able to practice. Other teams have fields that flood and are too muddy for them to practice; Skyline’s synthetic turf drains the rain and doesn’t get muddy. Not only will the Trojans get more practice, the field has playing benefits as well.

“For the student athletes the field helps them play better,” Wolf said. “Balls bounce true.”

The field also helps to prevent injuries because the turf surface is less harsh then a regular baseball field.

“The field is going to help recruiting, help the community and market the college nationally. It’s a great marketing tool,” Coach Nomicos said.

The baseball field is not the only field here on campus that people off campus are looking at. The new soccer field is also a great marketing tool, according to Wolf. Other universities and local schools call Wolf daily to use that field.

“Notre Dame [de Namur] wants to use the soccer field for their soccer teams and lacrosse team,” Wolf said. “So we’ll be accommodating universities like Berkeley and Stanford for that.”

All universities, schools, and groups that want to use the fields have to sign a facilities contract. Skyline does waive the fee for feeder high schools because that’s where the college gets their students. It helps to expose students to the facilities and services provided on Skyline’s campus.

Wolf says the plan for the future is to have a sports complex here on campus. It would transform different areas and include stairwells and handicap ramps connecting the fields. It would include restrooms and all access roads would be connected.

The school district took out a loan to pay for the new field; no money was taken from the school budget or state bond money. The school will save on maintenance and water for the field, and the field will eventually pay for itself.

The baseball field itself is all complete but there will be another two weeks for the total area to be completed. The fences and nets should be completed by Jan. 31; all else will be done in the next couple of weeks.

“We are very, very pleased with the outcome,” Wolf said.

Coach Nomicos is excited to use the field and says he thinks the field is a gift for students, athletes and him.

“I’m really lucky and very fortunate,” Coach Nomicos said. “Skyline is a good place. It’s family oriented. We care about our kids; this is a gift to them. I told my wife that she didn’t have to get me a Christmas gift this year, this field is my gift for the next ten years.”

The baseball team will be using the new field in their first game of the season on Feb. 4 at 2:00 p.m. against Barstow College.