The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School

Tideline

The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School

Tideline

The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School

Tideline

New Softball Field Seeks to Level the Playing Field

New+Softball+Field+Seeks+to+Level+the+Playing+Field
Emma Hall

Pali recently announced plans to construct a new softball field for the 2024-25 school year. It will be located in the right-field corner of the baseball field and be used for both softball games and practices.

Currently, the softball team holds all practices and plays all home games on the football field, sharing it with many other sports teams.

Pali Athletic Director Rocky Montz said the purpose of constructing the softball field is to make the football field less crowded and create a more traditional, gravel-and-dirt playing field, similar to those used by most schools’ softball teams.

Senior Stella Honda, shortstop on Pali’s softball team, said this new field is important because of the difference between playing on the football field’s turf and playing on a softball field’s dirt.

“Turf is made of plastic, it’s not the same thing as dirt,” she said. “When we go to play [other] teams that have dirt, the ball takes different bounces.”

“[The turf field] does not help us be prepared for away games when we play teams that have all-dirt fields,” Honda added.

Moreover, softball head coach Manny Flores believes the new facility will help the team bond more before the season starts.

“I think it affects the ability and competence of the team to become a team,” he said. “We get the field a week before our first preseason game whereas whoever we play has their own field and has been practicing since the beginning of the year.”

Honda said she spoke with administration and attended Booster Club meetings to advocate for the creation of a new field. In addition, she said she also helped the softball team receive funding for new equipment and uniforms.

“It’s just disappointing to actually have to fight for something that we should already have,” Honda said. “And it’s also disappointing that we have to do more fighting than playing. I think [the field and equipment] is something that doesn’t need to be fought for, it’s something that should be done already.”

Honda said she finds it unfair for the girls’ softball team to practice on the football field.

“I think that it is discriminatory towards the [softball team] because the baseball team has a huge field that is worth a lot of money, and it serves all the boys,” Honda said. “But the girls are forced to get second best.”

She also stated that the softball team not having their own facility constitutes a Title IX violation.

The Women’s Sports Foundation describes Title IX, an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as a law that, “gives women athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions that receive federal funds, from elementary schools to colleges and universities.”

While acknowledging the Title IX complaints, Montz said he also works on addressing concerns and ensuring that all sports teams at Pali have all the funding and equipment they need. This includes working with the Associated Student Body to raise athletic funding to at least $1,000 for every team and doing biennial compliance checks.

“I’ve always been trying to support [the softball team] as much as I possibly can,” he said. “I address every team the best that I can.”

Although Flores said that the new softball field can help the team improve their confidence and teamwork, he worries that it might worsen the situation with JV and Varsity baseball and softball teams sharing one area.

“I think we’ll be right back in the same situation, possibly even worse because if they say we have a field to practice on and a game is being played or if somebody else is in practice we won’t be able to practice anywhere else,” he said.

Flores said his ideal field situation is to have a softball field built separate from the baseball field on another part of campus, such as where the outdoor basketball courts are or by Pali Academy.

Montz believes that there is no perfect solution, but the new softball field can still help the team perform better.

“It’s not going to be perfect,” he said. “But they’ll have a field more similar to what they’re going to play on for the rest of their league meets and games.”

Honda said she is optimistic about how the field can help the softball team.

“I think [the new field] will help just because we’re playing on dirt and that’s a big factor of how we play,” she said. “It looks better too and it would have the perfect dimensions. Additionally, I think having our own softball field will increase our ability to bond and have chemistry on the team [affecting] our ability to play in the future.”

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About the Contributors
Isabella Aguilar, Staff Writer
Isabella Aguilar is a freshman at Pali High, and this is her first year at Tideline. Last year when she was at Paul Revere Middle School she wrote all the cover stories for her school paper, The Town Crier. Isabella is excited to improve her writing skills and become a better journalist. Some of her favorite things to do when has free time are running, playing piano, listening to music and spending time with her two dogs, Bootsy and Scout. 
Emma Hall, Staff Illustrator
Emma Hall is currently a sophomore at Pali and is in her first year as an illustrator for Tideline. She is looking forward to growing as an artist and to making new friends. Outside of school, Emma enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family and listening to Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey. She also plays club soccer and enjoys reading fiction books.