Field of Dreams: Sports Matter Grant Will Provide New Facility for Deserving Girls Program

Apr 5, 2022 10:30 AM ET

Originally published on DICK'S Sporting Goods Sideline Report

We gave the Jerome High School softball team $100,000 to build a field to call their own.

As he read the hand-written note from the DICK'S Sporting Good Foundation, Jerome High School softball coach Lyle Hudelson couldn't even finish before he fell forward with his hands on his knees and the players surrounding him burst into cheers. All he could say was, "Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me?"

This was no joke. The Sports Matter program likes nothing better than to take sports seriously in fun and exciting ways.

Hudelson and the Tigers were surprised with the funds to build a brand-new field that is expected to be completed in 2023 for the Idaho-based school. Their love of the game has kept them going, but it’s been far from a perfect situation.

The team currently uses a community field that's about a 30-minute walk to and from the school to practice and play home games. There are no locker rooms or on-site trainer or even restrooms -- the program rents portable toilets. The school baseball team has a facility on-site; however, the softball team only recently had school ground approved for a field and needed approximately $100,000 to build.

As the team was fundraising to build a field on campus, they asked for $20,000 for fencing in the form of a Sports Matter grant. That’s what they were expecting when DICK'S Community Marketing Manager Dan Doell handed coach Hudelson the note with the feel-good twist ending for a program that truly deserved it.

"We just want somewhere to call our own," said pitcher Jada Bos.

To that we say, "Welcome home.”

Check out our video to learn more about the program and share in the joy when they learn they’re getting a field to call their own!