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Game Day: SBHS Dons Baseball joins Vs. Cancer team

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara Dons baseball team is working on two winning plays this season for the community, with a pivotal game happening Friday, April 14, at the Eddie Mathews Field.

"We like to do three or four community service projects a year and my guys eat it up and run with it," said Dons Coach, Steve Schuck. "I'm so​ proud of what they do. They never complain. I always freak out a bit, maybe I'm doing too much, never the case."

You could say the team is in the sixth inning of two major fundraisers. The first is helping pediatric cancer patients through the Dons partnership with Vs. Cancer.

"We adopted a player into our program who has a brain tumor, through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. He's 11 and has been with the team about four years. And, we do a lot of work with the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, whenever they need help, Breast Cancer walks and now, Vs. Cancer, helping pediatric brain tumor patients."

So far, the players have raised nearly $4,000 through their partnership with Vs. Cancer, a national nonprofit. Half of the money raised will help patients, locally.

The Dons team is hoping Friday's game day is a giving day for those attending.

"We're just looking for community support so we can do our part to support the community."

The Dons are also working to give back to the next generation of ball players through its Field of Dreams campaign. A new outfield fence is just the start.

"Our next big project, and the district is being wonderful with this, is putting concrete down in all the spectator areas," said Schuck. "We're going to change out the chain-link fence to netting, we're looking to add a new scoreboard. So, it's a big capital fundraiser."

Schuck said the total estimate for all improvements is roughly $250,000. However, currently, they're looking to raise $125,000 to replace the scoreboard, invest in new netting and some dugout work.

The decades-old scoreboard will stay, for nostalgia. But, the green press box, that went up more than 30 years ago, will be taken down, making way for a new snack shack.

Schuck summed up the importance of not just baseball, but the lessons learned as a team.

"Baseball's just something that we do, it's not who we are. High school baseball, 95% of the kids are done at the end of their four years. So, it's our job, I think as coaches, to teach these young men how​ to be young men. How to be good fathers. How to be good husbands. How to be employees. How to give back in life."

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here


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