OAKLAND -- Young baseball players will kick off the spring baseball season on Montera Middle School's new and improved field, which was renovated and expanded over the winter.
The project was made possible by the North Oakland Little League/South Oakland Little League.
"The total project took two full days. It was a labor of love for Oakland's kids and our favorite spring sport, baseball," said Debe Rapson, the co-president of the school's parent teacher organization.
NOLL/SOLL donated $12,000 toward field renovations at the school. The league's players have been using the Montera field for more than 20 years.
"The league's goal is to provide continuous opportunities for youth to play ball through high school. As the kids grew, we found that they outgrew the field on their campus explained," Mike Anglin, NOLL/SOLL president. "The thing that was missing was the opportunity for middle school kids to play on their own school grounds."
"That field had never been middle school-regulated. What's exciting is that Montera, the largest middle school in Oakland, will actually be able to play ball on their field," Rapson said.
The field was brought up to middle school standards by expanding the infield. The existing clay was removed from the field before it was graded, leveled and expanded and a new clay mix, known as candlestick infield mix, was applied.
The work was completed in January, in preparation for the spring baseball season, under the direction of Oakland A's groundskeeper Leo Valle.
The Montera baseball team, founded by parent Steve Miller in 2011, said that the team has never played a game on its home field.
"Playing at home gives them a chance to have their own support group, friends and teachers," Miller said.
Montera will inaugurate the new field Friday, when the Montera Toros will play the Head-Royce Jayhawks at 4 p.m. The community is invited to join the Toros in the celebration. Admission is free.