For Immediate Release
September 14, 2016
Story Field, located on the LCC campus, is a historic gathering place. Whether it's Red Devil baseball in the spring, the NWAC Baseball Championships over the Memorial Day weekend, the Cowlitz Black Bears in the summer, or the Babe Ruth World Series, the field is a great vehicle to bring local community members together.
Once just a pasture in the middle of campus, decades of collaboration helped turn the field into a hub of activity and historical interest. For example, former LCC coach Scott Carnahan and his father led the construction of the grandstands using old seats from Sicks Stadium in Seattle. The first Babe Ruth World Series in 1990 saw business donations and labor unions come to together to build the third base side bleachers. Coach Steve Farrington and local businesses came together to install artificial turf on the infield. Former coach Kelly Smith and his players worked tireless hours keeping the field playable. When the Cowlitz Black Bears came to Longview, they, too, invested in the facility by adding a concession stand, bathrooms, party deck, and a kid's play area. Even LCC Athletic Director Kirc Roland worked with his late father to expand the press box for the national tournaments. Local businesses and volunteers led to improvements such as the scoreboard and fencing.
After 14 years of year-round use, the infield turf—designed for a 10 year lifespan—finally threw in the towel. Compacted dirt and tears in the turf led to concerns about player safety, and in August 2016 the LCC Board of Trustees voted to borrow about $450,000 from college reserves to make the needed repairs.
Because of the field's importance to the region's tourism industry, LCC administrators reached out to several entities to help fund the repairs. To date, Cowlitz County has committed $100,000 to the project and the City of Kelso has committed $15,000. Requests have also been submitted to the Associated Students of LCC, a regional foundation, and other stakeholders.
If you have questions or would like to assist with the restoration of Story Field, please contact LCC Athletic Director Kirc Roland at firstname.lastname@example.org, 360.442.2471.