New scoreboards set to be installed for South Kitsap

Elton Goodwin Foundation donates $15,000 toward project

Kitsap Bank Stadium is not the only athletic facility on the South Kitsap campus that will feature a significant upgrade during the upcoming school year.

Three members from the Elton Goodwin Foundation presented the South Kitsap School District with a $15,000 donation that will help purchase a new scoreboard at the high school baseball and fastpitch fields.

Athletic director Ed Santos expects both projects to be finished in time for the spring sports season.

“It’s always wonderful when the community and schools partner to do something really great for our kids,” he said.

The donation will not cover the entire cost of the projects. Tom O’Brien, director of facilities and operations for SKSD, said the projects cost $56,450. He said that encompasses $4,518 in sales tax and $15,257 for installation.

Joshua Sewell, a 1994 South Kitsap graduate who serves as board advisor for the foundation, a 501(c) nonprofit charity, presented the donation, along with fellow Elton Goodwin Foundation board members Arlond Goodwin and Sharon Goodwin, during the Aug. 5 school board meeting. Sewell said most of the proceeds for the donation came from the foundation’s auction in March 2014.

“Those donors and ourselves have been waiting on pins and needles to get those boards designed,” he said. “We’re ecstatic about it.”

The new scoreboard will mark the latest upgrade at Elton Goodwin Memorial Field. Goodwin, who was 63 when he died Nov. 7, 2013, guided the Wolves to three state championships and had a 491-136 record from 1976 to 2003. His 1996 team, which featured future major-league players Willie Bloomquist and Jason Ellison, went undefeated (23-0). Goodwin also won 17 Narrows League and two Olympic League titles during his tenure.

After Marcus Logue was hired to coach the Wolves’ baseball program in 2013, he replaced the weather-aged wooden boards that commemorated Goodwin’s state championships and the team’s annual records under his guidance. This project will replace the scoreboard in right field.

“With the scoreboards, it will be a good representation of the success our community has had and all of the hard work everyone has put into that school,” Logue said. “It will be really neat for everyone in Port Orchard to drive by those fields.”

A rendering shows the new scoreboard will feature “Elton Goodwin Field” across the top. It does not recognize the late Robert “Buck” Gehring. The current scoreboard is titled Buck Gehring Youth Memorial in his honor. Both Santos and Logue said Gehring will be honored elsewhere on the field if his name is not on the scoreboard. Logue said the Gehring family has been involved in the process.

“They understood Elton’s success on that field needed to be recognized, but [Gehring] still will be on our field,” Logue said. “They have done so much to support all of our student-athletes, coaches and programs.”

South’s fastpitch team, which competes near the baseball program on the school’s lower lot, will replace its scoreboard, which coach Mindi Outhwaite said was functional for only part of last season. This marks the second upgrade to the facility in recent years. In 2014, the father of former Wolves’ standout Hannah Spohn helped construct an outfield fence. Then-coach Jessica Cabato estimated that the fence reduced the home-run dimensions in some areas by as much as 80 feet. The former dimensions played out similar to a baseball field with the corners sitting around 300 feet from home plate.

“I think the players and the fans are going to be very excited to see the new scoreboard up — and working — for next season,” Outhwaite said. “We’re really thankful to the Elton Goodwin Memorial fund for providing both baseball and fastpitch with a new scoreboard.”

The Elton Goodwin Foundation also is working toward the construction of a “Sports Memorial Garden” at the baseball field that will resemble the “Victory Park” project created by the Chuck Semancik Foundation at Bremerton High School. The garden will honor the 80 team and individual championships the Wolves have earned in several sports since the high school was established in 1921.

Sewell said earlier during the summer that he expected to break ground on the project Aug. 3, but that did not occur. He said the installation timeline has been revised to February with a ribbon cutting scheduled to coincide with the first home game of next season.

“With school board approval of the project not coming until late May, we did not have the opportunity to bring this project into the classroom last spring as we had hoped,” Sewell said. “The opportunity to use this project as a classroom teaching tool for our landscape design, horticulture, DECA, video production and other SKHS students was something both the district and our board of directors were extremely excited about; and this revised timeline will allow us to properly capitalize on this unique teaching opportunity.”

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