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Cyclones earn keep by helping maintain fields

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POSTED February 19, 2013 1:30 a.m.

The Ripon Cyclones were again granted free use of the Ripon High varsity softball field.

They received the OK last week on the facility-use waiver valid for this season from the Ripon Unified school board on Feb. 11.

“The (Cyclones) came to us about four years ago in our time of need,” Superintendent Louise Johnson said. “They’ve contributed their equipment and labor.”

Since 2011, those involved with the program – the Cyclones are made up of competitive fast-pitch teams for girls and baseball for boys – have cleared out weeds around the batting cages, bleachers, dugout, backstop, and fence line; replaced the nets to the batting cage and backstop; and purchased two sock nets (for hitting), field net, landscaping rake, and two hand drags, to name a few.

They also leveled and dragged the field while purchasing more dirt for the infield.

“The Cyclones have a long-term relationship with the RUSD, and have maintained the varsity softball field consistently for three years,” said Shannon Gonzales, who is vice president for the youth sports program. “We recently spent much time, effort and cost in preparing the field for our current season.”

She indicated that the Lady Cyclones, for example, will consist of three teams with 11 players including two or three each from Ripon. The program is still too young locally to influence the RHS softball and baseball programs, Gonzales said.

“The majority of our players are age 10 and under,” she said.

The Cyclones are dedicated to developing young players to compete at high levels.

The travel teams play in tournaments in Sacramento, the Bay Area, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Reno.

No tournaments are scheduled at the RHS field but a Lady Cyclones softball camp was held there over the weekend.

The facility-use waiver covered the softball field and the field restrooms.

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