BUFORD — When the City of Buford decided that its little league baseball and softball fields at the Legion Fields needed a facelift, the Commissioners decided to include the high school baseball and softball fields as well. The renovations are being completed in phases with the baseball field having been renovated in the first phase.
The opening ceremony for the new baseball field was supposed to be held on Feb. 8 but was postponed for a week due to snow. So on Saturday, Feb. 15, Buford got to officially open the season on its state-of-the-art field.
The City of Buford funded the renovations which included new turf on the field, a new PA system, and LED lighting. “The FieldTurf DoublePlay surface, installed by Precision Turf, is comprised of two types of turf to mimic the speed of the baseball on a typical grass playing field. The pitching mound is constructed using DuraPitch Mound Clay which is commonly used in Major League Baseball. The new LED lighting system by Musco Lighting is a specialized design made specifically for sports fields,” Kerri Leland, Buford City Schools Director of Communications said.
“I would like to first thank our City of Buford Commissioners for investing in our youth and seeing the value in providing this topnotch environment for them. The new turf field allows our players to continue working when other teams with grass field cannot,” Buford High School baseball coach, Stuart Chester said. “I’m excited about our season. We are bringing back strong senior leadership and have amazing young talent.”
The Opening Ceremony included two ceremonial first pitches inside Gerald McQuaig field which is named after the former BHS baseball coach. The first pitch was thrown out by Derek Perkins, BHS Class of 1993. Perkins threw out the game ball from the very first win at Gerald McQuaig field, in which Perkins was the pitcher. The second pitch came from Gerald McQuaig’s son, Donnie McQuaig.
“The renovations for McQuaig Field is just a portion of the overall Parks and Recreation project to upgrade the city’s baseball and softball fields,” stated City of Buford City Manager Bryan Kerlin stated. “Seeing this first round of renovations completed excites us for the softball field and youth fields to be completed later this year. The elected leadership for the City of Buford works tirelessly to provide the best facilities for our community to enjoy. We know the low maintenance turf will provide an excellent athletic environment for our young citizens.”
“We appreciate the unwavering support the City of Buford provides to give our community the best facilities possible,” Buford City Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Downs said. “Coach Chester researched fields around the region to find the best fit for McQuaig Field. His players have already spent time on the new turf and are excited to play on it this season.”
“This field is simply amazing,” Buford High School Interim Principal Scott Chaffin said. “This is just the latest example of how the City of Buford continues to support our schools by ensuring the best resources are provided for our students.”
— Staff Reports