“Raptor Field” dedicated at Legends Way Ballfields

Clermont, Florida

Real Life Christian Academy had a girls softball team, but not a home field. After the 2016 Spring Games, that changed.

“Real Life girls softball has been coming to the park and using Field 5 as its home field for a couple of years. Field 5 has been notorious as one of our lesser-quality softball fields; the stands were crooked, there are no lights on the fields, and the dugouts either flooded or were always covered in dirt,” said Alison Strange, President of PFX Athletics. “It just wasn’t right that a local softball team had to play on what felt like ‘left-overs,’ not at our home complex.”

Not that the Raptors softball team ever complained – they had always graciously and thankfully utilized the facility that was provided. Still, it did not feel right to the staff at PFX Athletics. But there was more to the story.

Strange explained that “Field 5 was, in many ways, built by the late Ted DeWitt. As Dot [Richardson] tells the story, when his company was moving the dirt for the quadraplex, he just ‘kept moving dirt’ until suddenly we had another softball field!” Dr. Richardson, the founder of PFX Athletics and current, active member of the Board, has shared with her President that it was always her intention to do something special for Mr. DeWitt as a “thank you” for what he contributed to Legends Way Ballfields. “It just never seemed right as the field was, when compared to the others, unfinished. We had planned on doing renovations to it and then Mr. DeWitt passed away. It was very sad,” Strange said.

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So in 2016 PFX Athletics went to doing what it knew should have been done all along. Along with several other facility repairs, the field crew at PFX added concrete, retained the overflow dirt from running into the dugouts, installed kickboards between the field and the dugouts, added pitching bullpens, padding, and a new net backstop, and even installed new plants, trees, and a gazebo to improve the fifth softball field at Legends Way Ballfields.

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget when the Raptors showed up to play their first softball game of the season. I told the Coach ‘you’re playing on Field 5 today’ and I could tell she was disappointed. Then I walked with her to the renovated softball field and she was so moved, I thought she was going to cry. It was a touching moment and I know it made all of us at PFX feel very good about the change and how it affected the team,” Strange recalls.

Dedicated as “Raptor” Field, Field 5 is primed to be the newest showpiece at Legends Way Ballfields. “We plan to expand the seating, still, and add lights. There is more to do but we’re making great progress,” Strange says.