Troutdale — When one person sees so many different inequitable and equitable situations between baseball and softball programs, it really isn’t that difficult to provide them with equitable opportunities in their facilities. Yet, there are so many reprehensible examples of inequity that it makes one shake their head, and Reynolds High School is yet another example of reprehensible treatment given to softball facilities compared to baseball. For the Portland Metro area, this marks the sixth documented example of Title IX atrocities by EOG in the span of 11 months, and the 10th one overall in that span.
Back in Troutdale, the Reynolds Raiders baseball and softball programs play on separate campuses: Baseball is located at Reynolds Middle School, while softball is based on the high school campus. The softball facilities are split between JV and varsity areas, with the fields being located across campus from one another. The varsity softball field is located on the east end of campus next to the football field, and the facility provided to them is underwhelming and lackluster to put it nicely. There is no seating provided for spectators, with a pair of porta potties being placed directly behind home plate that provide not only an ugly sight but block a prime viewing point for spectators. Their dugouts are an open space of nothingness, with a park bench and lots of space thrown under a metal roof being the makeup.
The field is currently a sea of grass that has overran their dirt infield, a sign that it hasn’t been curated or touched since the end of the season by school facilities. Speaking of a sea of grass, their bullpen is barely noticeable unless one knew it was designed to be a bullpen, as the plates and rubber aren’t distinguishable in the grassy landscape that has overran it. Other than that, there isn’t more to this facility than described, unless you count the outfield fence and scoreboard that isn’t even labeled with Reynolds, Raiders, or any school logos. There is no storage available for the varsity team aside from a small metal box behind the third base line, which isn’t even for sure designed for that purpose. Their storage is located across campus on the west end by the JV fields, more or less negating the use of the varsity field as anything more than a game day facility.
Over at the middle school, the baseball team is living a life of luxury that has them on a pedestal. Everything they need is located at their complex: Hitting facility, three large seating areas, a massive storage container, press box, concessions, on-field hitting cage, large bullpens, enclosed dugouts, and clear and large labeling that indicates that it belongs to Reynolds Baseball. With the middle school located only three miles away, it is a quick drive from classes to practice or vice versa, providing convenience and comfort that has promoted the growth of their program. Aside from turf and stadium lights, baseball has everything they could ask for.
While I was conducting this walkthrough, a member of the Reynolds staff had a conversation with me about the business I was conducting. In our conversation, they indicated that the baseball program works hard for what they have and do a great job of maintaining it. It is important to note that everything the Reynolds baseball program has isn’t likely byproduct of hand-built glory, they have likely had financial backing to aid in the building of their complex to this point, along with the hard work that they put in with it. Regardless of where the money was obtained or who provided it, school districts have a legal obligation to provide equitable opportunity to both programs, which clearly isn’t the case in this scenario. In short, another inequitable situation whose only remedy is to enforce legal action via federal Title IX laws.