Hillcrest Gets New Dugouts

Time for Change!


Alexis Allen, Staff Writer

For years, Hillcrest softball had yet to receive any updates to the softball fields. After playing here for 3 years, I figured we would never see new dugouts, but, at the beginning of the school year, our old dugouts were torn down and new ones were put up. I was glad that our program was able to be in this year’s budget considering the school just had an expansion with our new field house.

My team would always talk about how our dugouts were so worn down and seeing other schools with very nice dugouts made us not very proud of the field we had. Every season we complained about the dugouts and how cramped and small they were. We had to walk across a wooden plank to walk into our dugouts to avoid the mud hole at the entrance. Seeing that softball is a spring sport, heavy rain caused mud to surround our dugouts, and the mud would get on the equipment since the only place to store it was on the ground.

I spoke with Associate Principal Dr. Buchanan, since he is in charge of the landscape of our school, “Wunar and I have been wanting to redo the dugouts for many years. The budget allowed this project to happen this year!” He also spoke about the planning that took place, “Our district facilities manager, Terry Masterson worked with the district architect, We wanted storage to be a part of the new design.”

I and my teammates have to set the tone for the season, but we also need our fellow Hawks to come support and cheer us on

Anyone who has experienced Hillcrest softball knows how crammed our old dugouts were while the new and improved dugouts not only have storage but a lot of space for us to be able to move around comfortably and cheer on our team. I spoke with one of my fellow varsity teammates Jaedah Franks on how she felt about our new dugouts, “I love that  we’ve got new dugouts! It’s an amazing perk. We can now keep our equipment outside, so we don’t have to carry it throughout the school… The new dugouts play a role in us having more confidence by our fields looking good,  we will feel good. Our dugouts will benefit us in so many ways. I’m so glad they were renovated!”

Since this is my senior year, I’m so excited that I even get to experience the dugouts. The dugouts give our field a whole new look, and the new fences allows the fields to appear as if they were just built.

I was able to ask my coaches how they felt about the dugouts as well seeing as though they also had to experience our old dugouts as well. Head Coach, Ann Dachota stated, “I am so excited for you ladies to have a beautiful new home; you ladies have worked so hard for so long and many times get overlooked by other teams. Now, your field and dugout will be something you can be proud of. We are so lucky to receive the dugouts and have a bright future for the softball program. It is also exciting to have a double bench dugout, and I do not have to duck to enter, all the other schools I am way too tall to stand and cheer you ladies on. The entire softball program is so excited to have new dugouts! Now we have to put in the work on and off the field.”

Coach Hebert Offord also had some words about the new improvements “The dugouts are well deserved we are overdue from how the fields have looked in the past, I have been around Hillcrest Softball since 2002; my older sisters and my wife all played so it’s good to finally see a change, since the love for the game has grown within the school it feels good that the girls can now be proud of their new field. My first freshman group that I coached are now seniors and look forward to a great season.”

Our athletic director, Ms. Lisa Wunar who is an alumn of Hillcrest and played softball was very glad to see the change: “I am thrilled both softball and baseball got new dugouts this year. Both programs deserve to be protected in the elements. The dugouts would have been cool when I played. Many of my former teammates comment on how good things look today.” I asked her about her favorite memory from Hillcrest softball and she was happy to share: “My favorite softball memory was beating Rich Central at Rich Central my Junior year. Many of the RC kids played summer ball with the Hillcrest kids and we beat them after they placed in State their previous year. The battle of Country Club Hills was won by the HAWKS!!!!! WE are always happy to send RC home with a loss.”

The new dugouts have brought nothing but positive energy to all that are around and involved with Hillcrest softball. Now, I and my teammates have to set the tone for the season, but we also need our fellow Hawks to come support and cheer us on … who knows we might just let you sit in the dugout!