It’s no secret that youth sports plays a big factor in all towns across America. It’s also no secret Guthrie has lacked in youth sports fields for a long time. However, a committee has formed to help find solutions to bring a youth complex to town.
In May, the City of Guthrie formed a Sports Complex Task Force to research the primary sports to be incorporated into a complex, identification and evaluation of proposed sites, cost estimate, operation and maintenance plan and format to pay for the proposed complex.
The youth sports directors expressed excitement in the upgrade of the playing fields and amenities that would come with the complex for league play, but also the ability to draw teams from across the state and region for tournament games and activities.
The task force has come together for three meetings to discuss the project beginning in June.
The local youth directors of each sport (soccer, football, baseball and softball) shared their insight on amount of fields needed by comparing master plans of youth complexes around the state and region.
The group has considered several locations of a proposed complex, including city owned land (80 acres east of I-35 near College Ave.) and land owned by the Oklahoma Land Commission, which is located east of Division St. behind the Department of Human Services building.
The City’s engineer group, Myers Engineering, showed the committee a draft concept plan earlier this week if the complex were to be built on the land commission site.
The initial drawing shows a total of six softball fields, nine baseball fields, 10 soccer fields and a football field. In addition to the athletic fields, a walking and bicycle trail, possible future development (basketball, volleyball, splash pad, skate park, etc.) and parking lots.
In each section, or pod, a concession stand, restrooms, dressing rooms, storage and bleacher type seating are shown.
The task force, which is set to next meet in August, will hope to learn the steps of possibly acquiring the 135 acres of land and funding methods to build and support the complex.
Mayor Steve Gentling nominated the task force members, including Laurel Davis (soccer), Daniel Calvert (baseball), Robbie Rainwater (football) and Sam Clift (softball). Other members include James Duehning (parent), Chris Evans (citizen), Shawn Ingle (baseball), Jon Chappell (athletic director) and Jan Goodyear (realtor). City staff, includes City Manager Leroy Alsup, City Clerk Kim Biggs, Public Works Director Tenny Maker and Parks Director Verdell Smith.
Currently the youth sports of football, soccer, baseball and softball all play at various sites throughout town.
Little league baseball plays their league games in the Cottonwood Flats. The league is limited in their infrastructure due to the ball fields being in a flood zone. On game nights, a mobile concession stand and portable restrooms are needed for fans, coaches and players.
Little league softball and soccer each play on the west side of town.