It may not be a surprise to those who have walked into Squires Field this season to learn it was named the top baseball field for 2017. The most recent accolade is another win for the treasured ballpark in downtown Guthrie.
By a unanimous vote, the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association named Squires Field as the 2017 North Side Field of the Year.
Squires Field has long been recognized as one of the best high school facilities to watch a game anywhere in the United States. The stadium received recognition from Street & Smith as a top 10 high school facility.
Preach Squires, who the stadium is named after, helped increase its reputation by keeping it in immaculate shape for so many years.
“He (Preach) did it because he loved baseball and he loved kids. In turn, we are very excited that this award is going to bring his family a sense of pride that his tradition is being upheld,” head baseball coach Casey Porter said. Related article: New entrance sign upgrades look, honors Preach Squires
From the design of the grass to the elevation of the home plate area, Porter has led the charge in giving Squires Field the look that leaves an impression on fans, players and coaches.
However, the coach says the award took a lot of hard work from a lot of people.
“First, I would like to thank Coach Chappell (GHS athletic director) for the commitment he has made to making Squires what it is,” Porter said. “This field won this award under his care as well and he has made my job super easy with the support he’s given. As he says, ‘I have everything I need, then a lot of things that I want.’ Second, the work my assistants have put in has been remarkable. I am so lucky to have the amount of help that they give each and every day.”
Porter is quick to point out John “Poe” Lijewski, who plays a major role behind the scenes and is not seen by many when the Jays hit the diamond.
“The work he puts in at the stadium is first class, and this award shows that,” Porter said of Poe, who serves as the school district’s Grounds Superintendent. “From aeration, to fertilizing, to mowing, to watering, to fixing the equipment.”
Porter continued, “Poe has played a gigantic role in this award and we are lucky to have him. I’m glad that this award will bring the job he has done some recognition as well.”
Guthrie Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson says everyone involved should be proud of the facility and their dedication.
“Taking pride in what we have and making it better is part of our daily mission with our facilities,” Simpson said.
Simpson finished by saying, “Coach Porter, Jon Chappell and John Lijewski set the standard with hard work and pride. I’m thankful their efforts are being recognized by their peers.”