A field of dreams

Cleveland+coaches%2C+staff+members+and+government+and+school+officials+line+up+to+cut+the+ribbon+to+declare+the+school%E2%80%99s+new+playfield+officially+open+at+the+field+dedication+on+May+11.

BRANDON TRUJILLO

Cleveland coaches, staff members and government and school officials line up to cut the ribbon to declare the school’s new playfield officially open at the field dedication on May 11.

Brandon Trujillo, Staff Reporter

After years of athletes playing on a worn-out field and months of anticipation, it is finally complete.
Cleveland’s new playfield had its grand reveal on May 11 to the sound of cameras clicking, drums banging and cheers filling the air. Wearing a Cleveland football jersey, KING 5 sports anchor Paul Silvi emceed the event.
“It’s long overdue for Cleveland High School,” Silvi said. “Man, I think it’s awesome that this school finally has a first-class facility for their athletic programs.”
Representatives from CHS sports who will use the field regularly participated in drills and scrimmages while community members walked around and toured the new field.
The event kicked off with Athletic Director Jonathan Hughes introducing the cheerleaders to perform some chants before giving his speech and passing the microphone to Principal George Breland, Seattle Public School officials and CHS alumni. Breland’s predecessor, Princess Shareef, was amazed at how far the school had come.
“When I first came to Cleveland in 2003, the softball team didn’t exist,” she said. “The orchestra didn’t exist. The soccer team didn’t exist.”
Shareef praised Breland for helping the school continue with its upward trajectory.
Cleveland’s drumline gave an exciting performance. Afterward, people gathered around as CHS coaches, staff, alumni and government officials cut the ribbon to officially call the field open. Members of the football and soccer teams had their first ceremonial kicks, Frisbee made their first throws, and softball and baseball threw out the first pitches. The activity was followed by a group picture.
“The new field is amazing … it feels amazing to play on,” said junior Alexis Santiago, who is captain of the boys’ soccer team and kicker for the football team. “Being the first ones to play on it is amazing and this is just the start.
Santiago said the new field will shave off time spent traveling to other venues to practice.
“I had to bus every day to practice last year, which was usually about a ten-minute bus ride but took longer because of how packed buses would be after school,” Santiago explained. “So now having a field to call ours that is less than a five-minute walk is a big help for us.”
The boys’ soccer team wasn’t the only team to have benefited from the field renovation. Girls ultimate has also had the opportunity to play on the new field, as well as baseball and softball being able to use the batting cages and warm up area.
Although the field is already being put to use, more modifications are coming. Hughes is looking to add a storage shed and lighting will be added to the field this summer.