Braham ready to open new sports complex

Get ready to “open the gates” with Braham Area High School as it celebrates the opening of its new sports facilities.

Take a look from behind the backstop at Braham’s new varsity baseball field. The “flex” field will be designed for both baseball and softball, with the ability to change the distance of the outfield fence. The new scoreboard is on display over Froyen Field, the new home of Bomber football and track. Photos by Mike Bleninger A look at the new stands and press box, as well as the new pole vault pit.
The “flex” field will be designed for both baseball and softball, with the ability to change the distance of the outfield fence.

The new baseball and softball fields will host their first games with a ceremonial varsity first pitch at 4:30 p.m. April 3, and the new track complex will open with a ceremonial first varsity lap at 4 p.m. April 24. During these grand opening celebrations, free popcorn will be served.

The new facility comes to Braham after the community voted to approve a $4.95 million bond referendum. According to Braham Activities Director and Principal Shawn Kuhnke, the new fields signal a strong relationship between the school and community.

“This was many years in the making,” he said, “There was a lot of work with the school district and the community members that went into this.”

In recent years, Braham has had to relocate or reschedule several baseball and softball games due to the conditions of the old fields. The swampy location caused the old fields to flood easily, rendering them unusable.

This will no longer be the case, as the new facility features five state-of-the-art fields. There is one designated varsity and one designated junior varsity field for each baseball and softball team. There is also an additional “flex” field that was designed to be used for either sport.

According to Kuhnke, the new facilities will also reintroduce track and field meets to the area.

“We did not have our own track before this,” he said. “This will be the first home track and field meet in Braham in many, many years.”

The school and the community needed to come together on this project, and that is exactly what they did. It was a simple decision when they thought about the bottom line, the kids.

“This is really a great opportunity for our kids,” Kuhnke said. “They have been able to enjoy the fields the last few weeks of practice, and it has been fantastic for the kids.”

Kuhnke realizes that without the support of the community, this may not have been possible, and he is thankful for the people of Braham.

“I would like to thank the folks of Braham and all the folks that voted to pass this project,” Kuhnke said.