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RCAF aims for new Ripon High bleachers
The Ripon High stadium as it looked at the start of August. - photo by Photo Contributed

Stouffer Field is being put to good use.

Since the start of the school year, the Ripon High stadium has been used a total of 55 times thus far, according to Vince Hobbs of the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation. 

At this week’s Ripon Unified school board meeting, Hobbs, the representative of the non-profit group that kicked off its grassroots effort in 2007 renovating the aging sports facility, indicated that Stouffer Field has held up quite nicely.

“The playing field looks good for natural grass,” said Hobbs, speaking on behalf of his wife, Stephanie. 

The RCAF president was unable to attend the monthly session.

Vince Hobbs listed the Ripon Chiefs youth football program and Ripon Christian High football program as well as the RHS football and soccer programs among those putting the stadium to good use with track and field right around corner.

He added that RCAF will soon turn over the stadium back to Ed Tagliabue, RUSD maintenance and operations supervisor, and his crew to handle the routine chores.

“Maintaining it takes work,” he said. “I’m still working on it.”

Included here are warranty items along with concrete and electrical touch ups in striping to make Stouffer Field “a class ‘A’ facility.”

Hobbs would also like to see the old hurdles replaced. “Some of the hurdles outdate me, and I’m not young anymore,” he said.

The cost for 80 new hurdles was estimated at $11,100.

Along with that, RCAF would like to add six more 12- by- 32-feet mats needed to protect the recently installed all-weather track.

“We have three as of now. Two were donated by the (RHS) Quarterback Club – RCAF purchased the other one,” said Hobbs. 

Other items on his wish list were 12 to 14 heavy duty trash cans, picnic table, and companion benches to accommodate the handicapped. 

RCAF has donated the Tuff Shed storage unit to the tennis program and will look for funding to make possible the new bleachers, restrooms and other necessary ADA issues, Vince Hobbs said.

He pointed out that the old bleachers have so much wear from over the years that he’s doubtful they’ll hold up for five more years. 

Stephanie Hobbs, meanwhile, is planning to once again attend the San Joaquin One Voice group led by the SJ Council of Governments in search of federal funding for specific projects – the stadium included – in Washington D.C. come April.

In addition, Vince Hobbs said RCAF is looking for sponsors and volunteers for Rina’s Run, a major fundraiser for his group, scheduled May 9.

This annual event consisting of a half Marathon and a 5K walk or run will include participants using the new synthetic surfaced track.

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