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Greenacres school gets donation to revitalize baseball field

John I. Leonard baseball field
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:49:24-05

GREENACRES, Fla. — A South Florida high school baseball team will play this spring with a little help from their city.

The baseball field at John I. Leonard High School received a donation from the city’s facilities department.

Casey Beck is the coach.

"We just wrapped up tryouts yesterday, as a matter of fact. I ended up being able to keep 28. So, we'll have two teams. Varsity and a J.V. for the first time in many, many years. So, I'm very excited about it," said Beck.

Beck hails from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he was a coach there. He is striving to strengthen the program at John I. Leonard and, at the same time, trying to make a difference in the lives of these young men.

"When I saw Greenacres, if you blink, you miss it on a map. These kids are getting forgotten. When there are kids five minutes down the street, that has so much more in so many ways. I said I got to do something," said Beck.

As the season approached, the field needed repairs to be ready for play.

The city of Greenacres heard about it and pitched in.

They recently donated more than 60 cubic square yards of clay — that's about the size of a small home.

Bill Pazanski is the public facilities supervisor for the city of Greenacres.

"In a matter of a day, we used four different trucks and six guys and dropped it off and moved it onto the field," said Pazanski. "Maintenance of a baseball field is more about keeping the clay aerated and soft. If you don't do any maintenance, it just gets really hard, and it's like playing on concrete."

Coach Beck said what he hopes to bring out of this, is a love for Greenacres and support for its youth.

"Why not come to your alma mater and be something to be proud of," said Beck. "There's a lot of history here. I'd like to revamp that history and not let it die."