In Our Midst

Baseball, softball fields, fieldhouse get closer to completion

Coach Puckett and the entire GRC baseball program “want to thank everyone who had a part in getting this huge project completed and turned into a reality. Go Cards!”

Sawyer Broeking

GEORGE ROGERS CLARK, get up on your feet and get excited! The completion of our total campus is in our midst. The anticipation for this has been broiling for quite some time now. It’s safe to say we ALL are ready for it to be finished—and it soon will be. 

“We hope to have everything completed by the end of October,” says athletic director Jamie Keene.

In the fall of 2019 GRC rolled out its brand-new state of the art football/soccer/track facilities, and in February of 2020, the mind-blowing performance gym was unveiled, leaving the baseball, softball, fieldhouse, and the tennis courts to be completed.

GRC has waited a long seven years for all of our sports facilities to be constructed and moved to our new school. Waiting this long just makes our community so much more grateful for everything that comes with these facilities.

“How appreciative and deserving the baseball and softball programs are to get such facilities and how so many before now have wanted this opportunity, and it’s coming true for this group at this time,” says baseball coach Matt Puckett.”I want these kids to take pride in the type of facilities we have and know that it’s really something special.” 

For coaches, players, and even fans, receiving these new facilities is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that people will always remember.

NUMEROUS AMENITIES

Softball coach Gary Preece says he is most excited about the numerous amenities. “It’s like ringing in a new era for GRC softball and being able to do things the program couldn’t before,” he said. “From the turf field, the incredible fieldhouse, locker rooms and indoor batting cages, it has all you need to have a great program and some.” 

In September of 2019, the Board of Education approved the construction of a full turf field for both baseball and softball. Having a turf field provides a tremendous amount of benefits. It allows play in harsh conditions—meaning, it could pour down the rain earlier in the day and still be playable that evening. It also provides the players and coaches with virtually no mowing, striping, and dragging of the field. 

 “Having turf takes so much of the burden off of our maintenance and booster organizations and could give GRC the opportunity to host state and even college events,” AD Keene says.

Along with turf fields for both softball and baseball, GRC’s new amenities include a spectacular new fieldhouse. The fieldhouse includes four large locker rooms, four batting cages that drop from the ceiling, roughly 10,000 square foot indoor turf field designed for multi-purpose use, lots of storage space, and meeting rooms. 

“The weight room rivals that of a college weight room,” Keene says. “The indoor facility is something that I don’t know of any other high schools having. It will give our teams the opportunity to still practice whenever the weather doesn’t cooperate.”

Years and years GRC have played at the same old softball and baseball fields, coaches and players are ready to step into their new home.

“There are several benefits that we will have that we did not have in our old structure,” says Coach Preece. “The first two things that come to mind are space and missed games. We had limited space at the old facility, and it was very cramped, along with being leaky and cold. With the new turf field, we should have less rain outs and more games per season to get ready for our ultimate goal of going to state.”

With less rain outs and more games expected to be played by both baseball and softball there are some things to adjust to with the new fields. Baseball and softball are typically played on grass and dirt fields. This poses the question of how will GRC adapt?

“We will have to adjust to the new field and how the balls play off of it for sure, but I think with the amount of games and practices the turf allows us to participate in, our boys will be up for the task,“ says Coach Puckett.

DREAM COME TRUE

Many people in the community play a vital part of this journey, but ultimately the facilities are for the student body. After years of dreaming of these facilities, they are finally becoming a reality. 

 “I don’t think words can express how extremely lucky we are to have new facilities,” Junior softball player Gracie Clements says.”A new field means new opportunities and new memories to be made. I’m one of many who has impatiently waited to step on that turf.” 

“I am super excited to get the chance to play on the new field my senior season,” says senior baseball player Cole Allen. “We are truly blessed to get brand new facilities, and I’m really grateful to get to experience them before I graduate.”

The impact of these facilities will have lasting effects on Clark County athletics for decades. 

“Our students, staff, and community are so deserving of this athletic complex,” says AD Keene. “We’ve had players and coaches traveling all over Winchester for practices and games and to finally have this complex on our campus is extraordinary. I can’t wait for the finished product, so we can finally share the best high school facility in the state with our teams, visitors, and the community.” 

Come spring our student body will be enjoying the pleasures of new jaw-dropping facilities. GRC is ready for a new era of sports. Spring can’t come fast enough!

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