By Conrad Dudderar
A new softball field funded by a Yukon Public Schools’ bond issue made its debut during the annual “Pink-Out” game.
Central Elementary library media specialist Jessica Adams joined YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth to throw out the “first pitches” at the Yukon Millerettes’ Sept. 8th varsity home game.
“I’m completely honored these girls picked me for their Pink-Out game,” said Adams, who was named Central’s Teacher of the Year for 2021-22. “It’s just an honor because some of my former students are out here.
“This means the world to me.”
Donations were accepted during the game to show support for Adams in her fight against breast cancer.
Along with T-shirt sales and concessions proceeds, the funds will be used by the Adams’ family to help cover medical expenses.
“I’m just here to have fun and support our girls; they’re amazing kids,” she added. “I absolutely love this school district.
“It’s my home. It’s my community.”
Starting her 19th year in education (11th at Central School), Adams is known as a passionate, caring and valued educator in Yukon.
This marked the first game played on new synthetic turf installed at the Yukon High School softball field, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
Although the Yukon girls’ softball season began Aug. 12, the Pink-Out game was seen as the “true” home opener.
“This is just what our community does,” Dr. Simeroth said. “It’s an opportunity to honor somebody who’s in our staff or a student struggling with an illness that may compromise their future.
“We’re here to help them in the present. So, the fans and the kids really ‘rally around’ the person. In this case, it’s one of our teachers.”
Yukon’s new “artificial” turf softball field features the interlocking YM athletic logo in center field, which highlights the joining of Yukon and Millers.
YPS contractor crews began work this summer and finished installing the artificial surface over Labor Day weekend. Recent rains delayed completion.
The $537,972 project was funded through the school district’s $194 million bond issue approved by YPS voters in November 2021.
“The community is so supportive,” Yukon’s school chief said. “The field is beautiful.
“This is the very first game that they’ve played on it. They’ve actually only had one day of practice on it so it’s really fresh.”
Superintendent Simeroth touted the benefits of having a high-quality synthetic turf on the district’s softball field.
“The rainouts will almost be eliminated,” he said. “As soon as it stops raining, it drains automatically. We’ll be able to have a more ‘predictable’ season.”
This turf surface also requires much less maintenance than the previous grass/dirt field – and no water or fertilizer, Simeroth pointed out.
A dirt field also creates potholes and other natural hazards while regular grass can affect players with allergies.