Many high school students save money for a senior trip. Some travel the world while others go to the “Happiest Place on Earth” at Disneyland. But Kingston fastpitch sophomores Josephine Castillo and Tegan Stanford decided to go another direction.
At the end of February, someone took their car and began to recklessly drive on the Kingston High School softball field, creating huge tire tracks and holes in the outfield. At the time, Kingston softball had less than $100 for repairs and upgrades.
So, Castillo and Stanford took matters into their own hands. “My mom in the car said, ‘Hey, you have $4,000, do you want to donate it?’” Stanford said. “I was thinking we can actually do that. Yes, I want to do that.”
Stanford then called Castillo, and both agreed to donate $4,000 to Kingston fastpitch. “It was our love for the sport, and we saw how badly our team needed it,” Castillo said. “We saw our bank accounts had literally zero dollars so we both decided to benefit the rest of our team so we can be able to play.”
The girls have been raising money for almost a decade through their Girl Scout accounts. Since donating the money, Kingston boosters have raised around $5,500 to help Kingston fastpitch and other sports.
“It’s amazing to see how dedicated these players and parents are because they are doing so much,” coach Brenda George said. “Each one of these players has so much going on in their lives, but to drop everything for softball is great. It’s stressful but to be able to come together for the common goal of building up this program is really nice to see.”
Since receiving the donation, Kingston has filled the tracks with new dirt. In addition, Kingston has unveiled new bases, field materials and fixed some safety concerns. Parents, coaches and players have been working on upgrading the field before games, on weekends and during downtime.
The fastpitch program also hopes to fix some of the fences around the field, build a bullpen and batting cage, and get team bats.
Castillo said she hopes her and Stanford’s donations can help in the future because, “I have a cousin in seventh grade who will be playing here after I graduate. So for me to donate money and go toward her having great seasons in the future means a lot to me.”
Since the donation and help from the community, Kingston has been exceeding expectations. The fastpitch team is 4-1 as of March 28 with two wins over 3A schools and their lone loss coming to another 3A school.
“We are competing against bigger schools on the field and for funding, too,” George said. “It’s even more impressive that we can put up a team that is solid and can fundraise. I have not coached at this level before, and I am continuously impressed with their drive.”