Donor gives piece of land to Altapass Baptist Church; plans are to build soccer field at site
SPRUCE PINE – Work is progressing on Altapass Baptist Church’s new soccer field behind DaVita Dialysis Center on Altapass Highway.
The land the soccer field is set to be built on was given to the church through an anonymous donor from the congregation. David Hughes, who serves as a deacon at Altapass Baptist and also tends the grounds, said the church spent significant time figuring out what to do with the newly acquired land.
After extensive discussion, the church decided it would be a perfect place to host an Upward soccer league since Altapass Baptist already hosts an Upward basketball league out of its gymnasium on the church campus.
Hughes said the church feels Upward, which is a Christian athletic program, is an excellent outreach for area youth. Adding soccer, he said, will only serve to expand that outreach.
“You have a different group of people that want to play soccer,” Hughes said. “We’re anticipating, just like the basketball, for interest and participation to be through the roof.”
Hughes and other church members have worked diligently to secure the necessary permits and erosion control plans and have also organized for the land to be cleared over the past several months.
The next steps are getting a grader to come to the site and preparing the grass to the necessary specifications of a soccer field, which Hughes said he expects will happen within the next few months.
Additionally, Altapass Baptist is planning to build a shelter with a seating area, a place to purchase refreshments and a parking area.
“There is a lot of long-range planning going into it,” Hughes said.
A significant amount of work remains to be done and at first, seating and refreshments may be limited at games as the facilities are completed, Hughes said.
“It will be a work in progress,” he said. “It will be small starting out, but we’re going to let it grow.”
Hughes said Upward is a great league for young players who want an option for playing a team other than one related to a public school or for travel teams in addition to being played in a Christian environment.
In Upward leagues, players are divided into teams based on their ages and players are matched as closely as possible based on their respective skill levels.
“It will be something new,” Hughes said. “We’re excited about it, and we need a lot of support and prayers.”