Coal Ridge finally feels at home
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – At last, Coal Ridge High School has a baseball diamond of its own.
After two years of playing “home” games in Rifle, the Titans christened their new, on-campus field with a game against Rangely on Thursday.
While the christening didn’t accompany a victory – Coal Ridge lost, 19-9 – the Titans were happy to finally feel at home.
“It’s nice,” junior Korbyn Brown said. “The last couple years, we’ve had to travel and it always felt like an away game. Now, we can just come out and get our stuff done, and have it feel like an actual home game.”
Coal Ridge played home games at Rifle’s Deerfield Park the last two seasons. Prior to that, the diamond at what is now Elk Creek Elementary School served as the Titans’ home digs.
Early last school year, the wheels finally started turning on getting a diamond built.
“The board made a decision to see if we could put a baseball field here for these kids,” said David Smucker, superintendent of Garfield School District Re-2. “Rifle High was gracious enough to share their field with these kids. From [Coal Ridge’s] standpoint, they needed their own field. So the board was really behind this.”
Construction was funded with capital monies from a 2006 school bond measure approved by voters, Smucker said.
Needless to say, Thursday’s official home opener was a long time coming.
“It really is a ‘if you dream it, you can make it happen’ kind of thing,” Smucker said. “That’s what happened for these kids.”
As for the happenings on that new field on Thursday, things didn’t fall in Coal Ridge’s favor.
Rangely rallied for eight runs apiece in the second inning and fifth innings to score the mercy-rule win.
Brown led the Titans (0-1) at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI. Rafael Fabela, Trey Derby and Cody Walls also picked up hits.
“We found out a lot about ourselves today,” first-year Coal Ridge coach Joe Bledsoe said. “You know, we were a little anxious. Some guys were trying to do more than they really need to do. We pressed a little bit. That happens.”
Kindal Cushman had three legs of a cycle for Rangely, hitting a three-run homer in the second inning. He also had a double and a single on the afternoon.
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