FLOYDADA — The next phase of the Floydada Collegiate ISD construction and renovation project is a new softball field for the Lady Winds, the renovation of Watson Field for Whirlwind baseball, plus adding new tennis courts and renovating the existing courts. According to Dr. Gilbert Trevino, superintendent of FCISD, work is scheduled to begin on September 1.
“We anticipate that the new softball field and work on the tennis courts will be completed in January. The baseball field will be the last one that is started and should be ready for the 2022 season,” Trevino said.
“We are excited about these upgrades and will bring all of Floydada’s athletic facilities up to par with Charles Tyer Stadium that opened in the 2020 football season,” Trevino added.
Charles Tyer Stadium was a popular playoff site in 2020 due to its all-weather turf and modern amenities that makes it one of the top small school football stadiums throughout West Texas. The new and improved softball field, baseball diamond and tennis courts should have similar popularity because of the top notch features for the respective sports.
Lady Winds Softball Field
Trevino pointed out a few of the features of the new park.
“The seating capacity will be for 360 fans, the entire playing surface will be all-weather turf and a metal fence will surround the playing field,” Trevinio said. “The infield will be brown in color like the dirt infields that are at most softball diamonds. The outfield will be green and include a big Whirlwind logo in center field. Floydada will be spelled out behind home plate and in front of the press box and grandstands. One unique feature is warning track that goes from right field to left field in front of the fence. It will be brown in color and also have a different kind of surface so the outfielders will be aware they are approaching the metal fence as a safety precaution.”
Home plate will be on the southeast corner of where the previous high school was located. It will be facing towards the intersection of Texas Avenue and Georgia Street where center field will be located.
The seating capacity for the new stadium will be comparable to the size of the stadiums of Plainview, Brownfield and Roosevelt that the Lady Winds played in during the 2021 playoffs.
Everything will be brand new including a very nice press box, lighting, dugouts and scoreboard. The exact size of these features are not completely decided upon. The name of the softball field is also undetermined at this time.
One of the longest-winning sports program of FCISD will finally get its expansion that has been discussed for nearly two decades by tennis supporters.
“We will renovate the existing two courts with new playing surface and fence, then two more courts will be built on the north side of those to give us a total of a four-court venue. They will be nice and will be very appealing,” Trevino described.
Tennis Coach Adam Zepeda commented back in the spring when Floydada was winning another district championship: “We should now be able to host invitational tournaments in the future and maybe be the site of the district tourney. I am confident the new courts will help keep tennis a popular spring sport in Floydada.
Watson Field — Whirlwind Baseball
Probably about the only thing not new about Watson Field will be the location, while nearly all of the physical structures will totally renovated.
“The main feature for baseball will be a new all-weather surface like what will be at the softball field. At first we discussed just all-weather turf on the infield, but changed our minds and decided on all of the playing surface including outfield to be artificial turf. New fencing will be constructed around the playing field,” Trevino explained.
There are still some decisions to be made about the bleachers, press box and dugouts. Regardless of what will be done, the players, coaches and fans are all going to get the feel of a brand new stadium.
Indoor Batting Cages and Dressing Rooms
This building was used in the 2021 season. It is located next to the previous band hall that was remodeled to have two batting cages with pitching machines for each baseball and softball, plus dressing rooms for each boys and girls.
“This was a very nice addition this past year. Our teams really utilized the indoor batting opportunities,” Trevino noted.
The new softball field, expanded and renovated tennis courts and completely re-imagined Watson Field for baseball will add to the appearance of Whirlwind Gym that was opened in 1999 and still looks like a new venue. The only non-athletic buildings on site will be for Special and Federal Programs, and a previous band hall that is a storage structure.
Just this past week FCISD Athletic Director Todd Bandy announced that 69 percent of the high school and junior high students in the district are enrolled in athletics for the upcoming school year. New stadiums and facilities traditionally cause an increase of participation in the communities that undertake the improvements. Time will tell how they will benefit Floydada.
Right across the street to the east, the Floydada Little League baseball and softball fields are in very good condition giving the community a nice impression for visitors.
The way Charles Tyer Stadium was used for playoffs, there will probably be increased playoff activity as a neutral site throughout the year which will provide an economic boost for Floydada.
The Floydada Summer Baseball and Softball Association hosted four Little League tournaments for various ages in the month of June that last anywhere from four to six days each.