Howard High School’s baseball team will officially open their season on Monday against East Ridge at home.
The game is a good reason to remember the team’s journey since 2015, from nothing to playing at home on their own field.
A full schedule for the Hustlin’ Tigers season is available here.
The game is at 4:30 p.m. at Howard High School.
Ahead of the inaugural season, organizer and head coach Jon Johnson started a Generosity.com fundraiser with the goal of raising $10,000 to help build a new field at the school. The campaign doubled the goal—$20,000—and players worked 10-hour days to get the field ready for last year’s home games.
Times Free Press columnist David Cook wrote about the program’s journey last Feb. ahead of their first home game.
They started in the dead of winter. Ten-hour Saturdays, and after-church Sundays. In sleet. Hail. Rain. Most guys didn’t own thick, heavy coats. Some worked in shorts. (“It’s OK, Coach. I was born in December.”)
They removed all the rocks. Cleaned out the trash. Raked down 88 tons of topsoil and sand, which Johnson bought on a six-month loan. Marked dimensions for bases. Dug out the batting cages, then bullpens. Sowed 250 pounds of winter rye, but had to first soften up that rocky infield.
Audio producer/potter John-Michael Forman released an audio documentary called “Bringing It Home—The Story of Howard Baseball” last summer. The documentary aired on WUTC-FM at the time, but Forman hopes a re-sharing of the piece will help garner support for the team ahead of Monday’s game and the season.
Listen to the audio below: