New YPS softball field debuts at ‘Pink-Out’ game

Funds raised to help Jessica Adams fight cancer; ‘21 bond issue funded synthetic turf

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Yukon Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth and Central Elementary library media specialist Jessica Adams chat after throwing out “first pitches” during the Sept. 8th “Pink-Out” game on YPS’ new bond-funded synthetic softball field. Donations were taken at the game to support Adams in her fight against breast cancer. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A new softball field funded by a Yukon Public Schools’ bond issue made its debut during the annual “Pink-Out” game.

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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 Millerettes’ head softball coach Katy Hoke discusses the quality of the new bond-funded synthetic turf field with YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth before the start of the Sept. 8th annual “Pink-Out” game. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
This drone photo shows an aerial view of the synthetic turf softball field on the Yukon High School campus, 1777 S Yukon Parkway. Contractor crews finished installing the artificial turf over Labor Day weekend after recent rains delayed completion. The 2021 YPS bond issue funded the $537,972 project. (Photo provided)
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‘SO SUPPORTIVE’

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.

Central Elementary library media specialist Jessica Adams throws out her first pitch during the Sept. 8th Yukon Millerettes’ “Pink-Out” game at the “new” softball field on the Yukon High School campus, 1777 S Yukon Parkway. The game helped raise funds to support Adams in her fight against breast cancer. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)
Jessica Adams (center), who is battling breast cancer, visits with Yukon Millerettes’ catcher Krysana Pellet and head softball coach Katy Hoke on the field. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)
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