WC’s Viking Field in the midst of renovation project

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015

As the sun faded over Viking Field on Tuesday afternoon, Warren Central baseball coach Conner Douglas was on a tractor vacuuming up loose bits of grass instead of watching his infielders vacuum up ground balls.

A bucket of bricks, and not a bucket of balls, sat behind home plate.

It was a construction zone rather than a baseball field, but it will soon be a gleaming palace of the game.

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Viking Field is in the final stages of a $60,000 renovation project. When it’s completed in mid-January, there will be a new brick backstop, netting, warning track and artificial turf in foul territory behind home plate.

“We want our guys to play on the best possible field,” Douglas said. “It mentally adds something when you have something you take pride in. They see it and other teams see it, and it makes it to where you want to protect your turf. More pride you take in it, the more you protect your house.”

Douglas said some of the money for the project came from the Vicksburg Warren School District, but a lot of it was raised through donations.

“The district chipped in on some of the materials for the backstop, but we raised a lot of money through private donations. Cannon Toyota helped. It was raising money through the course of the year,” Douglas said.

The construction began in October and was delayed a bit by rain, but has proceeded well.

By Tuesday, the backstop was complete and awaiting the new net that will extend from dugout to dugout.

The new warning track material will come next — Douglas called it “a safety feature” — and an artificial turf “halo” will finish the project.

The halo will extend from near the backstop to the dirt around home plate, and from dugout to dugout.

Douglas said the next phase of the project is new bleachers to replace aging ones.

“The next goal is a grandstand. That’s the only thing we’re really lacking. I have a picture from 1998, and it’s the same stands,” Douglas said. “Our goal is to have the nicest facility in the state.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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