Building relationships, engaging learners, and growing leaders is Wilton Public School District’s mission. Their softball team is no different. With 2020 being their eighth season, Wilton’s fast pitch girls’ softball program kicked off in 2012. Five years ago, there were only six teams in Wilton’s region for softball. With the quick local interest of a fast pitch girls’ softball program, the growth has resulted in 11 regional teams.
Over recent years, there were additions to the diamond’s infield as well as sprinklers in the outfield. With a fairly new athletic offering of high school girls softball, the park board new there was a need for an updated field for play. The park board went to the city and with a one cent tax increase, they were able to completely renovate the existing baseball field into a regulation softball diamond too.
This field also acts as the school’s football field resulting in a baseball, softball, and football field complex all rolled into one. The new complex was in need of an updated scoreboard. The previous scoreboard was constructed sometime in the early to mid-70s. The school district was at the point that they had a hard time repairing the current scoreboard as they couldn’t even find replacement bulbs anymore due to the age of the scoreboard. The park board contacted Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T) to see if they would have any interest in supporting youth in the neighboring Bismarck community. They said ‘yes.’
The DCB&T sponsored scoreboard not only assists during the spring softball season and all summer long for a busy little league season, but it is also utilized during the fall for Washburn-Wilton’s Southern McLean Roughriders high school football team. “Adding that scoreboard has added depth to those fields and gives them a professional look,” mentions Park Board Member Jamie Schurhamer.
Schurhamer mentions how impactful it was to have DCB&T involved in one of the varsity girls’ softball games in 2018. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust came up and cooked burgers one night. It was amazing. Actually being a part of one of the games, shows that they are really trying to be a part of not only the Bismarck-Mandan community but also the surrounding ones as well. They truly want to be a part of the community and are willing to do it on a personal level.” He goes on to say how they normally have a turnout of approximately 25 to 30 people for a game, but that night over 100 burgers were cooked for people they had never seen attend a game before. “Hopefully we continue to see this as something the community will look forward to, to come up and enjoy the night,” Schurhamer says of the updated complex.
Since the renovations have been completed, they have already hosted some junior varsity tournaments. The Wilton Public School District is looking to host the sub-region softball tournament as well as other tournaments in the future with the addition of the new field and its amenities. “It’s a really nice complex and to bring all those teams in for a tournament would be a lot of fun. We never thought we would have the facilities available to have tournaments like this,” closes Schurhamer. The future, full of additional improvements, is bright for the Wilton Softball Team, the new sports complex, and all of Wilton Public School.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director