The dreams of an enhanced Colton Middle School soccer field came true for many who grew frustrated with the bumps and holes on the pitch.
Educators, civic leaders, and longtime youth sports supporters held a ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 8 to celebrate their efforts in improving the field’s conditions for area youth. Dozens of kids ran onto the field for a ceremonial “kick off”, while the adults held a ribbon cutting to mark the event.
Colton Joint Unified School District Board President Dan Flores, an avid soccer fan, said renovations made to the soccer field were made possible through collaborative work between the city, the district, and youth soccer volunteers.
“This is absolutely the definition of a joint effort–of people coming together to solve a problem,” Flores said. “This is for you–the community and for the kids to have fun.”
Field renovations began back in the spring. Gophers and irrigation resulted in the field deteriorating with time, according to district officials. Colton Joint worked with the city’s Utility Department to install an irrigation control system and added 3,800 cubic yards of dirt for regrading. They also adjusted the field’s drainage system to avoid flooding.
Colton Youth Soccer Vice President Joe Perez admitted there was some skepticism regarding the field renovations. However, he’s glad the school district and the city were able to join together to complete the anticipated project.
“The field looks good and is soccer ready,” Perez exclaimed. “This is probably the best field ever that I’ve seen in a long time. I’m happy with the Council and the school district. They proved me wrong.”
Omar Perez, head coach of the Colton America Soccer Club, expressed excitement in using the field for games.
“It’s going to be great for the city and our kids,” Perez. “We have a lot of talent. Now we’re going to be able to show that on this field.”
Uriel Mariscal, 11, said he’s relieved that he’ll no longer have to play on patches of dirt.
“[The field] is smoother and you can run much better,” said Mariscal. “I think we’ll be able to shoot better.”