Following a year of accomplishments on the field, Hillsdale plans to take its athletics to the next level. From new fields, facilities, and a state of the art track, Charger athletics is entering into a new era known as “Phase One.”
Phase One of the Hillsdale College Outdoor Athletics Facility Improvement consists of both a new baseball and softball field, each equipped with turf and lights for evening games. The phase also includes a brand new track and field, which includes synthetic turf. The track and field will be available to not only the athletes, but to clubs and intramural teams as well.
“It’s going to help in a big way,” Tom Vessella, Hillsdale’s new baseball coach said. “First and foremost, it helps with recruiting, because as far as I’m concerned, we’re going to have the best baseball facility in the region.” “We’ll have an all field turf, so we can get more games in. We’ll have lights,we have a lot of things that other schools that we compete against aren’t going to be able to have.”
Not only is Phase one going to elevate the athletics, but the coaches believe it will undoubtedly reflect the excellence that Hillsdale pursues.
“Plus it’s more of a reflection about what our school is about, you know your facilities are a reflection about what you’re trying to promote and everything that Hillsdale is about,” Coach Vessella said.
Aside from the looks, the new facilities will improve the lives of athletes on and off the field.
“The renovations have also been done with an eye towards enhancing the student-athlete experience and providing more flexibility to make it easier to balance academic and athletic responsibilities,” James Gensterblum, Director of Athletic Communications, said. “The addition of lights and synthetic turf at baseball and softball, for example, should mean less weekend rainouts pushing games into Mondays and Tuesdays, and more flexibility to schedule later start times for weekday games and practices to avoid afternoon classes. That should mean less missed class time for the baseball and softball teams overall.”
Softball head coach Kyle Gross agrees that Phase One will benefit athletes on and off the field.
“It will enhance the student athlete experience here, and will be ideal for Michigan weather in spring,” softball head coach Kyle Gross said.
As athletes and students await the new facilities that Phase One has to offer, athletic director Don Baker is already looking ahead to Phase Two.
“If phase one is as nice as our baseball, softball and outdoor track facilities, I can only imagine what he’s going to do in Phase Two,” Vessella said.