Memories of WNC athletics: John L. Harvey Field’s beauty goes beyond baseball
Editor’s Note: Throughout the rest of 2016 Western Nevada College baseball and softball seasons, which is the last for WNC athletics, the Appeal is featuring columns every Sunday from those who are sharing their memories of the programs.
To limit the memories to just one or a few might be somewhat difficult since so many come to mind.
I have to remember my first encounter with Coach D.J. Whittemore during the summer of 2011. My son came to Nevada to play in a tournament and one of the venues was John L. Harvey Field. Going to the field that day, it struck me this field was special. There’s a beauty to John L Harvey Field that goes beyond baseball. Little did I know then how many times I would get to visit it again.
I had the opportunity to have brief discussions on those days with Coach Whittemore. The first time we spoke, D.J. was there pulling weeds from around the upper portion of the stands. None were safe that day as few players joined in to help as August practices were about to begin. The wide brimmed sun hat keeping the sun from Coach’s head, while me from Washington wanted as much of it as I could get. Responding to my comment of WNC having a great spot to play ball, D.J. responded with “Yeah, we like it here”. A few years later, I completely understood why.
My son played for Coach Whittemore, Coach Demo, and the staff in both 2013 and 2014. If D.J. would have decided on my son, based on what he saw that first weekend, my son would have been told to stay in Washington, but after recommendations from his Summer team director and high school coach, he was offered a chance to play again at Harvey field. Fast forward to the first meeting of the year in which parents are invited to attend. August of 2012 and the room is filling with seasoned sophomores and wide eyed freshman. Coach Whittemore takes the podium, welcomes everyone to the meeting with a hand out and begins with telling the young men in that room they’re to be students. Expectations were laid out that day, the WNC Wildcats would continue to earn NJCAA Academic awards, as well as play their best on the field. Unfortunately, President Chet Burton failed to recognize this program brought national recognition to Carson City for academics off the field, success on it, and someone for the youth of the area to look up to.
The fond memories also include opening weekend of the 2013 season that was originally scheduled for Las Vegas, but got moved to Carson City at the last minute. Yes, my wife and I had tickets to go to Las Vegas, but instead heard of the change, got in our car and headed to Carson. We weren’t going to miss it. Only a few in the seats that weekend, as there was snow in the surrounding mountains and here we were watching baseball. Just added to the beauty of John L Harvey Field. We found out Chris Graham was broadcasting games so we wouldn’t have to miss any and Helaine Morres traveled from just a few miles from our home in Washington to Carson City every chance she got to be the PA announcer.