Coach asks Board of Trustees for equality for Mickey Roling Softball Complex and Monty Reedy Field

Taft High's softball team has played in the CIF Central Section Div. IV softball championship games three years in a row, and have been Valley champions in 2013 and 2014.

By any standard, the Wildcats are one of the dominant teams in their division.

But at home, at their own school, they are treated like a neglected stepsister to the baseball program, their coach says.

Wildcat softball coach Russ Emberson went to the Taft Union High School District Board of Trustees Monday night, asking for the same first-class treatment for the softball facility that the baseball program gets at Monty Reedy Field.

Emberson said the softball field needs more bleachers to accommodate the fans, more batting cages for the players to practice in, lights, a facility like the press box at the baseball field and a little more respect for the fields the Wildcats practice and play on.

Emberson emphasized that he appreciates what the program already has in terms of a softball field, especially when it is compared to softball fields other high school teams play on.

“We play on a great facility,” he told the board. “We only play on 2 or 3 facilities like it.”

But it doesn't get the investment or attention that the Wildcat baseball fields get.

“We are not on an equal footing with them,” Emberson said. The softball teams play at the Mickey Roling Complex on San Emidio on the southwest corner of the main TUHS campus.

The baseball teams play to the west, across North Tenth Street,

The softball fields are used in the fall for football practice, and that doesn't allow the team much of a field for off-season workouts.

Emberson said he has raised the issue before but gotten nowhere with it.
Board President Rick Twisselman suggested he take it through the district's facilities committee to see what can be done.

Emberson spoke at a meeting where the board congratulated the Wildcat softball team on its second consecutive valley championship and authorized the purchase of rings for the team.

The Wildcats beat Liberty-Madera Ranchos 6-0 on May 23 to win the valley title and finished 36-2 overall with a 12-0 South Sequoia League record.