Byers aids in refurbishment of CMS softball field

Published 3:08 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – The softball field at Calera Middle School is coming back to life thanks in part to help from Debbie Byers, who serves as a councilmember on the Calera City Council.

Byers, who views her donation as an investment for the children and their future, provided $1000 in personal funds to aid in the field’s restoration.

CMS first opened in the fall of 2012 following the Shelby County Board of Education’s purchase and refurbishment of the Shelby Academy Campus in 2010.  Since then, CMS has served Calera’s sixth through eighth graders as a fresh and modernized center for learning and education.

That being said, despite being in usable condition at the time of the acquisition, the campus’ softball field had fallen into disuse and disrepair over the past decade for a variety of reasons.

“The softball field seemed to be long forgotten,” Byers said. “When I went over to look at the field it was in dire need—the grass hadn’t been cut, the chain-link fence was laying down— and it was just not usable for those girls.”

Recently, Mandy Phillips, who serves as softball coach for CMS, reached out to Byers for help in bringing the field back from the brink. It was their hope that doing so would be advantageous for girls currently playing softball for the school and would allow and encourage others to develop an interest and active involvement in the sport.

Prior to its repair, students at CMS had to utilize the Calera Eagle Sports Complex for games and practice, which placed a strain on the sport’s appeal to both students and parents who experienced issues overcoming the nearly eight-mile distance between the two facilities.

“When you think about that field out there, and you have 12 to 14-year-old girls who go to school there (at CMS)—that probably live in that area—there is a strong possibility that their parents work and they have no transportation to get over to the Eagle Complex,” Byers said.

To help the softball field’s restoration, Byers readily donated $1000 in fencing supplies to repair and reconstruct the fencing around the perimeter of the field. Her investment allowed for the replacement of missing fence posts and sections of chain-link fencing.

“It looked to me that maybe what had been there, over the years, may have just dilapidated,” Byers said.

With Byers’ help and the input from others in the community, such as City Electric Supply of Alabaster who have supplied new lighting for the field, the softball field at CMS will be able to serve its students for years to come.

“It’s a donation, but to me it is an investment in these children,” Byers said. “There may be a good chance that one of them may fall in love with this sport. You never know what can happen when you invest in a child like that.”