Destin High's plan for a home baseball field is thrown a curve ball. But they have a field
The Destin High Sharks will have a home field for baseball, but not as originally planned.
In October, the plan was to revamp Field B, also known as Barracuda Field, at Morgan Sports Center into a baseball field for the high school to play its home games. That plan is not permanently off the table. But for now, the team will be playing its home games on the field behind Destin Elementary School. This field was used in the past for an adult softball field for city league play.
“We ran into a timing issue, pulling permits and getting approvals,” Destin High School Athletic Director Phil Dorn said.
“So, we decided not to do something in a hurry that’s not right. … We’re going to take our time.”
But the good news is, “the city is working with us to make the elementary field strong,” Dorn said.
From October 2022:Batter up! Destin High baseball team will play home games at Morgan Sports Center
Dorn said the school is working with the city to make everything safe, repairing the backstop and the fencing, and that the city has already had the lights repaired at the field.
The light situation at the elementary school field was one of the reasons that field was nixed from the start when the high school was looking at options.
“We had poles out so we could not practice or play there because of the lighting,” Dorn said.
“But the city fixed it … so it’s given us hope,” he added.
Last year in the school's first season of baseball, the Sharks played all of their games on the road because they had no home field.
But the field behind the elementary school, “looks like it’s going to be a good, positive thing,” Dorn said.
From September 2022:Destin High baseball team may have a place to call home come spring at Morgan Sports Center
“And our baseball coach is pretty excited about it. He feels like he can make that ball field kind of special down there,” Dorn said.
“Right now, we’ve got a good base and that's all we’re looking for right now,” baseball coach Juan Bonilla said.
"The main thing is to give them a place to practice and get better,” Bonilla said.
From 2022:Destin High Sharks fall to South Walton Seahawks in baseball
The Sharks are scheduled to play in a Pre-Season Classic at South Walton High School on Feb. 14 and 16 against Freeport and Walton.
Destin’s first regular season game is Feb. 21 on the road at Washington High in Pensacola, followed by four more road games before taking the field for a home game on March 6 against Choctawhatchee.
Bonilla is glad to have the available field behind the elementary school to call home.
“It’s a place to get better and be comfortable and grow. All we need is grass and dirt and baseball. That’s the wonderful thing about it,” Bonilla said.
“Just give me some grass, some dirt and a few balls and we can make it work,” he said.
Dorn said the city has kept up with that field, “so, it’s not in too bad of shape. So, with a little TLC … coach is all about it and thinks he can make it a special place.”
Dorn said the field fits all high school requirements.
“It’s 300 feet down the lines and center field, so it’s compliant with high school regulations,” Dorn said.
“It’s all positive … it’s a good move for now,” Dorn said.