Facilities / Fields of Play

Facilities Fields of Play

Sager Field

Part of John Lowery's legacy at Jefferson High School includes the development of the school's baseball field. In its inaugural baseball season, 1973, the JHS Baseball Program used the Fish Hatchery diamond in Leetown as its first home field. In the second season, the program moved to the JHS campus. "I can remember the first game... There was no fencing - it was wide open. In the school's history, we've only had one kid hit for the cycle and that was in that first game (Flip Dorsey '75)," said Lowery.

Later, crews erected a snow fence in the outfield. "We put it 300 feet down the lines, 330 in the alleys, 350 in center. We concreted the poles in, and we hit like 12 homeruns the first week," Lowery recalls. "We knew very well it wasn't deep enough, so we had to get a wrecker truck to come out and pull all those poles out, and we moved it back to where we have it now." Eventually, foul line fences were obtained from somewhere, and later all fences were replaced with the current fence.

The boosters built the original backstop, and the original sod was donated and dug up/came from a local church. In 2008 or 2009 the original scoreboard was sold to a local high school, and the present electronic scoreboard was donated by Builder's Unlimited and Richmond Homes and installed in its present location. The field has evolved over the years to become one of the finest high school baseball fields in WV, being tested last summer when rain did not postpone summer collegiate games.

Twice a year, volunteers repair the mound, replace sod, re-pack the warning track, level the infield, prep the field for the winter, then spring playing season. If you can help for a few hours here and there, especially after games, please contact our Field Manager, Ron. Kelchner, who, like Mr. Sager, has been caring for our field for years --- long after his grandson, Chris Payne, graduated from the JHS Varsity team in 2011.

Lewis Wilson "Pete" Sager...

Improvements to the baseball field were the result of countless hours of volunteer help by people in the community whose interest and love for baseball was remarkable. One of those first volunteers, "Pete" Sager (1910 – 1985) was a lifelong resident of Shenandoah Junction, and a lifelong fan of baseball. He cared for the field, helped build the first dugouts from their cornfield origin; would ready the field after inclement weather; and he, along with his wife, would travel with the team on all road trips. In his retirement years, he became the elder statesman of Cougar Baseball. The Cougar players became part of his extended family and his dedication to the program was evident to all our fans of that era. According to Coach Lowery, Mr. Sager, who died of cancer in January 1985, was "someone totally devoted to the Jefferson High School baseball program and its teams throughout the years."

On May 16, 1985, a special ceremony, held between two games, the JHS baseball field was officially dedicated to Mr. Sager's memory. Don Hetzell, Athletic Director of JHS, stated "We are not here today to eulogize Mr. Sager, but to honor him for his total devotion to Jefferson High School baseball. His devotion was unbelievable and for that we are eternally grateful. From this day forth, this field will be known as the Lewis Wilson "Pete" Sager Memorial Field." The Cougars had defeated the Musselman High Applemen in the first game by a 10-5 score. After the dedication ceremony, they went on to defeat the Loudoun County High Raiders with a 6-2 score.

JHS Batting Cage...

Originally just a fence with a windscreen covering and a roof, the structure was used as a batting cage and pitching area, and could be rearranged for infield practice. Coach Lowery used to have his son, John, sit at a table in one corner to do his homework with snow blowing in from under the windscreens. Eventually, a wall was built on the side next to the field and another wall facing the Press Box. Tarps covered the remaining walls. The current turf covering the floor was bought, used from the Michigan State University Football Program.

In 2009, the two walls were added, and the outside walls painted by volunteers. The paint was donated by the Board of Education with labor donated by P&W Contracting. An office for Coach Lowery was built and ductwork was installed by Chuck Hamilton. All of these renovations were possible by more than 80 donations from the community, made in the memory of Andrew Rotruck.

Andrew was a member of our 2007 State Championship team. He played with the Cougars from 2005 through 2008, when he graduated from JHS.

Andrew was a member of our 2007 State Championship team. He played with the Cougars from 2005 through 2008, when he graduated from JHS. Starting his freshman year at Potomac State's ball team, Andrew became a victim of a tragic automobile accident and passed away. He left a legacy of core values for all to follow such as love, dedication, commitment, and sacrifice. He lived life to the fullest, and his character was evident to all who knew him, not only on the baseball field but most importantly in everyday life.

Andrew Rotruck Memorial Training Facility...

The Andrew Rotruck Memorial Baseball Training Facility was dedicated on April 20, 2009. The sign honoring Andrew was donated by Craig Kershner of DALB on behalf of the JHS Baseball Alumni. Ken Walker of DALB was credited with doing most of the work on the sign. Andrew's jersey number, #24, was retired in 2009 with a sign displaying his number on the Cougar Bullpen. It joined Jeff Reynolds' sign which displays his jersey number, #14. Jeff was the first JHS baseball player to sign and play professional baseball. In 2011, a sign representing former JHS Coach Davidson's jersey number, #21, was retired and added to the bullpen signs. At the gate to Sager Field, is a memorial plaque in memory of Andrew Rotruck. It was donated by Hammaker Memorials, and placed under a Kwanson Cherry Tree, which was donated by Reese's Nursery.

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