MIAMIVILLE, Ohio — Blustery and cold, the late Saturday morning temperature felt more like the end of football season rather than the start of spring in Clermont County.
None of the flurries or windy conditions could chill the spirit of the Moeller High School community at the newly-opened Kremchek Stadium, home to the eight-state champion baseball program.
The entire Moeller baseball team, along with families, administration, fans - and even Mr. Redlegs - brought warm smiles and an optimism about a new chapter in the school's athletics story.
"It's just an incredible experience to have all these people out there that have all these Moeller connections and to see this field get built," Moeller baseball coach Tim Held said near the pitching mound. "It's just awesome."
Kremchek Stadium is the first building on the Bucher Athletic Complex site which includes 30 acres of land on Second Street in Miamiville that Barry Bucher donated to the school.
Saturday's dedication ceremony occurred eight months after a groundbreaking ceremony in late July 2021.
The baseball stadium is named after the late Dr. Edward Kremchek, a former longtime Moeller team physician and his son, Dr. Timothy Kremchek, an orthopaedic surgeon at Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, chief medical director for the Cincinnati Reds and Moeller team physician.
Dr. Timothy Kremchek played catch with one of the Moeller players near third base before the dedication ceremony Saturday afternoon.
"This is not about baseball, it's not about a baseball field," Kremchek said. "This is about community. I've had more people not only that went to Moeller, alumni, people who live in our community have talked about this facility. What a great tribute to what they are doing at Moeller High School. Not just sports but we are talking about academics - the whole nine yards."
The Crusaders practiced for the first time on the new field on Friday and the field drew excellent reviews from the players and coaches who took in all aspects of their new baseball home.
Held said he had to pinch himself about three times on Friday realizing this vision of Moeller's baseball field had been fulfilled.
"During practice yesterday I was like, 'I pray I don't roll over, wake up and find out this is a dream,'" Held said. "So to know this is real is just incredible."
Moeller is scheduled to open this season against visiting Grosse Pointe South (Mich.) at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The Crusaders will host Greater Catholic League South division rival St. Xavier at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
"Feel good about our team," Held said. "We return a lot of players from last year. Probably one of my most experienced teams in the last 15 years. I think seven hitters return and five pitchers. So to come out to practice this year and have them have the experience they have and all the knowledge they have of how we want to do things - we're just moving really quick and feel really comfortable. We should hit the ground running."
In addition to the main baseball stadium, the plans for the complex also include seating areas for spectators, practice fields and an honor wall.