posted May 14, 2007

Renovation of Baseball & Softball Fields Underway

A  renovation is underway of the baseball and softball fields at the Buys Athletics Complex on the campus of Hope College.

The college has also announced the naming of the two fields in honor of four persons who have been involved in the life of the college for several decades.

The softball stadium has been named in honor Karla Hoesch Wolters, longtime Hope softball coach, and her husband Tom.  Both are graduates of the Hope College class of 1973.

The baseball stadium has been named in honor of Ronald Boeve, Hope College class of  1953 and an assistant baseball coach for nearly a quarter of century, and his wife Sonya (Sunny).

"We are pleased to honor these two very special coaches.  Both Karla and Ron have been integral parts of Hope athletics as players and coaches.  And, because coaching at its best involves spouses as well, we are pleased to honor Tom and Sunny," said President James E. Bultman.

The project at the current fields will include the installation of permanent stands for fans, new press boxes and dugouts.  Fans will have an unobstructed view of the playing fields.  The softball seating will accommodate approximately 250 fans and baseball will have seating for about 300.  Each area will have a patio suitable for tailgating.

"The playing surfaces of our fields are quite satisfactory," said President Bultman. "The seating, however, has always been less than desirable.  The major portion of the renovation will, therefore, be to install permanent seating with less obstructive dugouts and improved press boxes.  The ball parks will have stadium-like appearances to them."

The work is scheduled to be finished in time for the teams' 2008 seasons.

Ron Boeve has served as assistant baseball coach at the college for more than a quarter of a century.  He started as a volunteer assistant coach in the early 1980s under now

President Bultman and has continued to serve under three coaches, including current head coach Stu Fritz the past 14 seasons.  He is the team's first base coach and frequently pitches batting practice.

Sunny Boeve has been a faithful attendee at Hope baseball games, home and away, keeping her own scorebook for hundreds of contests.

Ron was a standout Hope baseball player, winning recognition that included
being chosen by his teammates as Hope's most valuable player in 1959 and
selection to the All-MIAA team twice as a catcher. He also lettered in
football.

This past fall the college's Alumni H-Club presented him the "Hope for
Humanity Award" in recognition of his service to others. He has also been
active with the college's Alumni Association.

He and Sunny, who has also been an active volunteer on the college's behalf,
received Meritorious Service Awards from Hope in 1994.

Boeve is a 1953 graduate of Holland High School. He attended Hope from 1953 to
1955, subsequently served in the U.S. Army with the 101st Airborne Division,
and then returned Hope, graduating in 1960 with a major in business
administration.

From Hope he went on to positions with both the Ford Motor Company and Herman
Miller Inc. He became a partner with Woodland Realty (1973-81) and later
Timber Brook Realty (1981-94), and has stayed active in the profession since
Timber Brook was sold to Greenridge Realty in 1994. He was president of the
Holland Board of Realtors and named Holland's Realtor of the Year in both 1982
and 1994. In 1982 he also received the Michigan Association of Realtors
Community Service Award.

Boeve has also been active as a volunteer in the community and with his
church. He served on the Holland Board of Education for eight years, including
three years as president. He is also a past member of the consistory of Third
Reformed Church in Holland and a past member of the board of the Holland Area
Chamber of Commerce.

He and Sunny have three children: Sue, a 1981 Hope graduate; Gretchen, a 1986
AmericanUniversity graduate; and Craig, a 1990 Hope graduate.

Sunny was active in the Women's League for Hope College for many years and
involved with the Reformed Church Women.

Karla Wolters has coached collegiate athletics for 33 years, the past 20 years at the helm of the Flying Dutch softball team. She has guided the fortunes of college athletes as their coach in a multitude of sports. Through the 2007 season, her teams have won a combined 1,076 games led by softball (623) and then volleyball (375), field hockey (40), basketball (24) and tennis (14).

Wolters has brought a new level of success to the Hope softball program. She has led the Flying Dutch to five NCAA Division III tournament appearances (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 2006). The 1991 Flying Dutch finished third in the nation and the 1995 team tied for fifth. Wolters was named the Region softball coach of the year in 1991, 1992 and 1995. The Hope staff was honored by the MIAA this season. Her career collegiate coaching record over 29 seasons is 623-342. Her twenty-year softball record at Hope is 454-264.

She entered the 2007 season ranked the fourth winningest Division III coaches all-time. She is part of an elite group that includes Donna Newberry of Muskingum (781 victories), George Wares of Central, Iowa (753) and June Walker of TrentonState (721).

Wolters taught and coached for 13 years at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. She led the Calvin softball team to seven conference championships from 1979-87 and took Calvin to the NCAA Division III playoffs on four occasions (1983-84-85-87).

Wolters is a 1973 Hope College graduate. She was a standout student-athlete during her undergraduate years. In her four years at Hope, she played 13 varsity sports seasons, lettering in tennis, field hockey, basketball and volleyball.

She received the Master of Arts degree from Michigan State University in 1978. She has the academic rank of associate professor of kinesiology at Hope.

In 1986 she was voted the NCAA Division III coach-of-the-year by the Intercollegiate Volleyball Coaches Association. She is among the most successful coaches in the history of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association with 20 conference championships in softball, volleyball and women's basketball.

Tom Wolters lettered four years in basketball.  He was captain of the team his senior year and ended his career among the all-time Hope leaders in rebounding.  He taught in the elementary and middle school levels of the Zeeland public schools system for 26 years.  During his career he also coached track and field. The Wolters reside in Zeeland.