Atlantis’s Field of Dreams is taking shape. Work on the new field is nearly complete. The sod is down, the fence and dugouts are going up, and a well will soon be dug to irrigate the natural Kentucky Blue Grass with water from South Watuppa Pond. As if that news isn’t exciting enough, Atlantis has just announced that plans are in the works for a new softball field too.
The baseball field was supposed to serve all Atlantis students in grades K-12 including, the middle and high school boys baseball and girls softball programs, but Atlantis has decided to build a second field dedicated to softball to alleviate scheduling concerns. It will be located behind the bleachers near the track and field complex.
“These new fields will have positive long-term effects on attracting and recruiting students,” said Robert Beatty, executive director of Atlantis. “Despite the financial challenges cause by this pandemic, we have tried to keep projects like this one on track so we can meet our short-term and long-term goals for the school.”
Atlantis already had funds budgeted for this project. To further defray costs, Atlantis launched a banner campaign early this year, before the pandemic, to raise additional funds for the new field. Local businesses purchased banners to hang on fencing around the track and field complex.
Since opening the new campus in 2018, Atlantis was able to give its football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and cheer teams a home “field” for the first time in school history. The baseball and softball teams continued to practice and play games off-campus.
The middle school baseball team held practices at Kennedy Park on the public baseball field. Parents had to drive their kids to the park, Coach Tom Furman transported the equipment from the school in his jeep, and the team was never guaranteed use of the field. It was not ideal, but despite the challenges, the team has enjoyed great success.
“We are the most successful middle school sports team in Fall River history. We’ve won four straight championships. No other school has done that in any other sport,” said Coach Tom Furman. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we were going to win the championship again last year. My eighth graders were all unbelievable. I’ve been telling my current eighth graders ‘get ready because you guys have a legacy to live up to.’”
The team is 24-and-5 all-time – they haven’t lost a game in two years. Furman hopes the new field will give some of the middle school talent and their parents another reason to stay at Atlantis for high school.
The girl’s junior varsity high school softball team has also been extremely successful, with one of the best records of all Atlantis teams over the past few seasons. Coach Tayler Tavis says the girls will be thrilled to learn they are getting a field of their own to play on.
“These girls love the game, and they want to play. Taking a bus to every practice and every game was not easy, but they never complained,” said Coach Tayler Tavis. “I think the field will boost our numbers. We might be able to have a J.V. and a varsity team in the future.”
The softball team was supposed to move to the varsity ranks in the Spring 2021 season but have decided to wait another year since the Spring 2020 season was cancelled.
“It’s a cool feeling to go out on a field and see your school’s logo,” Furman said. “I hope having a home field will give us a competitive advantage. It can’t wait to see parents and students in the stands cheering the players on. It will be an amazing feeling.”