Rounding third, looking for home


Photo Courtesy of: Anders Saling

Chloe Dollar, ‘25, not only plays softball for WHHS, but for the Ohio Hawks as well. She has completed one season with them since moving to Cincinnati.

I play for a team that has no home, no common ground, no sense of consistency and normalcy and no pride for the field we claim as ‘our own’.

The concept of home field advantage is something that has never struck me as a softball player at WHHS. The phenomenon of teams being more likely to win at ‘home’ is something that in the past six years has never hit home for me.

Claiming the third baseline dugout is something that lacks significance for us, because it truly isn’t even ours. Our field should be home to another, but instead we rent space. We own nothing.

At WHHS there are no true home fields for softball and baseball, there are no diamonds found on our campus, and not only that, but there is no off campus site that truly houses our baseball and softball programs.

Each season coaching staffs are pressed with the burden of finding space for practices and games during the season, taking away valuable time that would, quite frankly, be much better spent developing coaching tools and fostering team culture.

Currently, the softball program plays at Summit Athletic Complex, and baseball has made the Reds Urban Youth Academy a home for themselves, but neither team is provided transportation to and from these off campus practices and home games.

Personally, chauffeuring myself and my teammates to and from practice and games throughout the season is frustrating as an athlete, but I do it because I love my sport and my team.

However, despite my love for softball, I can’t help but feel let down by the resources that have not been provided to me as a student athlete.

It has been a disheartening realization that WHHS’ campus has two facilities equipped to host sports such as football, lacrosse, soccer, basketball and volleyball, but yet only a batting cage to offer for me.

In the fall and winter I love the Nuthouse, in the spring I resent it. Students flock to football, basketball and even soccer and volleyball games, but when it comes time to venture out to the ballpark nobody is taking the journey.

My team and I do not blame students for not coming, we blame the lack of accessibility. We blame the stigma that spring sports lack entertainment. We blame the lack of recognition for spring sports. We blame the circumstances, and we are ready for them to be changed.

We want our community, our peers and our families to be able to support us, and if not on our campus, at the very least it could be closer than 15 minutes away.

We want the Nuthouse to gather at our games, eating seeds, screaming when we have a solid at bat, losing their minds because of a stellar catch in center field or an incomprehensible double play. We want that, need that, and deserve that.

We hope our place to call home is somewhere on the drawing board, and that our community gets to join us there soon.