Two Keyser High School students, their family and some friends decided to spruce up the school’s dugouts as their senior project.

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

KEYSER - If you’ve spent any time at the athletic facilities at KHS dating back to last summer and into the fall, you may have noticed some Black and Gold clad worker bees hard at work sprucing up the baseball facilities.

In fact, a steady progression of improvements, dating back to last year and even before, has been in motion, spearheaded mostly by students as part of their senior projects.

In the case of the Kephart family, what started out as senior projects for KHS seniors and twins Molly and Adam, quickly turned into a family affair, and a real labor of love.

“This started as a senior project for our twins Molly and Adam, with Molly painting a Tornado mural on the dugouts and Adam helping paint the dugouts and doing general cleanup, ” mom Peggy Kephart stated. From there, the whole family became involved.

“I would just say that the Lord has blessed us in our business, Kephart Painting, he has blessed us so much, and we just want to pay it forward. It’s amazing that God blesses us with things and we need to bless others, not just keep it for ourselves,” Peggy explained.

Husband Dale reiterated the point, “In the Bible, 1 Peter, verse 10, it says to take our gifts from God and bless other people with them. We just saw that they were fixing up the baseball field and we just wanted everything over there to look nice. I finally got permission to paint it and got permission from the school board and they said you can do anything to spruce it up. We’re still not quite done with it, there is just a tremendous amount of work to be done.”

The plan, therefore, was for Molly, a talented artist, to paint Tornado murals on both dugouts. Work is nearly completed on one dugout with the other one to be painted thereafter. Brother Adam’s plan was to spruce up the general area with extensive cleanup activities, pressure wash the deck of the press box, and paint both dugouts. The pressure washing and painting of the dugouts is complete, with some cleanup still to go.

According to Dale Kephart, “We probably took 50 or 60 tires out of there. Adam probably spent an entire week up there, and Molly’s been up there probably five or six times. There’s a lot of work to do on that mural. We also did some work on the backstop area, it was all rusted. We just started going and planned to start hitting things really hard again before the season but then the facilities were closed off. We are going to finish it.”

Molly Kephart detailed her contribution to the project, “I love to paint and I realized in the middle of my junior year that I wanted to paint something for the school. Originally it was going to be in the gym, but we realized that would be tough to do. So I ended up talking to my vice principal and she agreed that I could do it at the baseball field to spruce things up.”

According to Molly, “We have such a nice softball field and so I just decided that a mural on the baseball field would look nice too. High school has been such a good experience. We just have great teachers and they really help us grow. This is just sort of a pay back and thank you for how they’ve impacted us.”

Molly hopes her efforts may inspire other student artists to do the same, “I just definitely wanted to do something and I just absolutely love painting and so I wanted it to be some kind of art that would last awhile and maybe inspire other kids to pick up a paint brush.”

Brother Adam details his contributions to the project, “I wanted to fix up the baseball field that I was going to play my senior year on, I thought, I just wanted to spruce it up a little bit and help improve its appearance. I pressure washed the deck and painted the field house and the two dugouts.”

According to Adam, “I agree with my family. I wanted to leave my mark up there in a way, and just pay back some of the great experience we’ve had at Keyser High School.”

The Kepharts efforts have certainly not when unnoticed, as Keyser baseball coach Scott Rohrbaugh explains, “Any time we get any parents or individuals to help out it’s always a positive to the program. The work they did made the facilities look a lot nicer, it brightened them up from what they had been.”

According to Rohrbaugh, “The senior project, the Tornado that Molly has done is great, she’s an excellent artist It brought out more school spirit and was greatly appreciated. Adam, with his senior project, was responsible for a large amount of cleanup, pressure washing the deck to the press box building, and some of the painting.”

Their senior projects are certainly not the first times Molly and Adam have contributed to the baseball program. As Coach Rohrbaugh explains, “Adam has played for me for four years and I had him in class, he’s a good kid. Molly has kept the books and statistics for us for the last two years, including last year when we began to utilize GameChanger on the computer. They’ve both been a big part of the baseball program.”

As Rohrbaugh is quick to point out, the work accomplished thus far by the Kepharts builds on the work others have contributed to the baseball facilities and program as well.

“Morgan Little’s senior project this year was installing a new fence in front of the home dugout. Last year, Jackson White and Evan Moreland spearheaded a project to get new windows and doors for the press box and materials for a batting cage. Also last year, Rachel Rutherford, Emma Simpson and Kyrissa Iser helped secure furniture for the player’s lounge.”

The busy bees have been hard at work and even just a quick glance in the direction of the KHS baseball field will show it. The freshly painted Black and Gold dugouts and press box, along with the Tornado mural certainly pop out right away. A closer inspection will show improvements like the fence in front of the home dugout, the rust taken off and freshly painted parts of the back stop, new windows, doors, among other things.

Jackson White, Evan Moreland, Morgan Little, Rachel Rutherford, Emma Simpson, Kyrissa Iser and now add twins Molly and Adam Kephart to the list of contributors. As both Molly and Adam pointed out, Keyser High School has been good to them and they wanted to give back. These thoughts extended to parents Peggy and Dale Kephart as well, as they too wanted to pay forward the blessings they’ve received. Imagine if these feelings were contagious.