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Swinging for the Fences

Construction completed on girls softball facility
Arabella Keim
The girls new locker room being unveiled for the team to see for the first time.

Earlier this fall, construction began on a softball facility for the Hoover girls softball team. NCCS Director of Development and Special Projects Mr. Scott Campbell and Hoover Athletic Director Mr. Tom Oakes each shared a unique role in the development of the new facility. Starting the build was a long process with many steps involved. Campbell spoke of many people and procedures the concept had to be run by.

“[It] started with a concept,” he said. “We went through a bid process for an architect and from there once we settled on a design we went through another bid process from construction company to build the design.”

The new turf is all set up with nets and areas to bat ready to be used by the team for the first time (Arabella Keim)

Although it took months to pass the concept of the new facility, with all of its inclusions, the new building was worth the wait. The blueprint included many of the same features the baseball facility includes.

“[It includes] a locker room, a practice facility [Ohio springs are unpredictable], a concession stand, and public restrooms,” Campbell said. “Batting cages, pitching cages, turf area for multiple purposes, locker room, public bathrooms, coaches offices, [etc.]. We have an amazing softball program and this facility will greatly impact our program from youth all the way up to High School. [It will give them] a place to call their own with a locker room…a facility that serves multiple purposes. They can practice and work on fundamentals and it’s in close proximity to the softball fields. Coaches have a place to call their own.”

Oakes also spoke to the effectiveness of the new facility.

The new field for indoor practice with cages and nets is set up for the girls to begin practice (Arabella Keim)

“[It] will hopefully spur additional interest in a program that is already successful,” he said. “Softball student-athletes will now have an indoor facility they can use year round, instead of waiting for the high school gym to be available after fall and winter sports end.”

Having a new softball facility is a great addition to the many buildings and fields Hoover has built over the years. As many new improvements are being made to NCCS, the softball facility was a top priority.

n Seniors Delaney Shannon, Lilly Wolfe,
Sadie Carroll, Madelyn Rennecker and Savannah Carroll pose for a senior picture in front of the new softball building. (Arabella Keim)

“This facility adds to our overall outstanding athletic facilities that are continuing to be upgraded each and every year,” Oakes said. “We wanted our softball program to have an indoor facility similar to our baseball program.”

Junior softball players Sienna Koosh and Ella Letosky are excited for the new adventure the building will bring for the team and for all of Hoover’s athletics.

“I have seen a better focus in practice with the facility and cleaner performance,” Koosh said.

Other players, like Letosky, agree with Koosh on the importance the new building will have on the team.

“I have seen a difference playing without the facility compared to with it,” Letosky said. “We get a lot more hitting reps inside the facility and a lot better quality practices as well.”

As well as importance, the players saw a difference in teamwork and effort as soon as the season began. The effect of the facility has already left an impact on the girls of the softball team alone and as a whole.

“The facility impacts our team in a great way. It gives us a place to go after school before practice and to keep all of our stuff,” Letosky said. “It also helps us a lot with our skills because we have a place to practice inside if the weather is bad.”

NCCS added many amazing features to the building, making it a fun place to be while also being a helpful and learning environment.

“My favorite part is honestly all of it — I love the turf area for practicing but I love the locker room just as much,” Letosky said.

All of the players find the building to be a perfect place to grow and succeed as a team.

“I love having the facility. It is a private place where the softball team can grow,” Koosh said.

As the years have passed, the team has felt they’ve earned their own building with their many accomplishments and their long run of success.

“I think it was important to give the girls something,” Koosh said. “We hold eight state championships and as a women’s sport I believe it was very empowering to gain something like this.”

Letosky also found it to be a big step for the women’s program, as they have worked for this day for many years.

“It was definitely important for us,” she said. “As a winning program, it was important to have a place of our own to be able to practice in and work whenever we want.”

The entire girls softball team, varsity and JV, celebrate the new facility. (Arabella Keim)
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About the Contributors
Kaeleigh Heckaman
Kaeleigh Heckaman, Focus Editor
My name is Kaeleigh and I love writing. I am a freshman and I am also in Yearbook. I play volleyball, run track, and love trying new sports.
Arabella Keim
Arabella Keim, PAI Editor
Hi! I’m Arabella, I’m a senior and this is my 3rd year on staff! Here in PAI Land, we are a cinnamon apple pumpkin PAI. I am a varsity and competitive cheerleader. I love Molly Andrews so much; she is the beat queen!