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New home for BC’s Bobcats

BOGUE CHITTO — Call it a team effort. The new football fieldhouse at Bogue Chitto is a community project, constructed by lotsof volunteers, among them parents of players, friends of the schoolbooster club members and coaches. Add Lincoln County school fundingand it becomes a winning combination.

The overdue project, located adjacent to Troy Smith Field, isthe final new field house to be constructed among the four countyschools. Bogue Chitto also is following in the footsteps ofBrookhaven High School and Brookhaven Academy which boast sparklingnew facilities.

Bogue Chitto Booster Club president Perry Brown said the newfield house should be completed by early September. Players willbegin using a portion of it when preseason practice begins Aug.1.

“This is something they’ve been needing for a long time,” saidBrown. The new field house measures 80 feet by 60 feet, restingnext to the 2-year-old fastpitch softball field.

“It will have a 40 by 40 weight training area, plus two lockerrooms for the high school and junior high teams,” said Brown. Italso includes a multi-use classroom, suitable for academics andwatching game films. Also in the layout is a training room,complete with a whirlpool, plus an office for the coaches.

Construction began in February with the dirt work and it wasn’ta moment too soon. The old field house was plagued by drainageproblems. When it rained, water streamed down the hill behind theschool and leaked through the concrete block building’sfoundation.

Overcrowding was another problem at the old facility. Each dayplayers had to maneuver their way through a cluttered weight roomto reach their dressing cubicles. Due to the lack of windows, freshair was at a shortage, too.

“We don’t know when it was built,” said Bogue Chitto headfootball coach Gareth Sartin. “When it rained, water would leak infrom the back and on the side.

“We won’t miss the old building,” he added. “We are real proudto have a new field house,” said Sartin. “The kids will take a lotof pride in it.”

Besides additional space, Sartin said there are otheradvantages. “We will have so much storage space. We used to have(equipment) scattered around.”

Sartin said he appreciated the wholesale support provided by thecommunity. “We have had great community support. A lot of peoplehave volunteered.”

The Bobcats play their first game, Aug. 26, at North Pike.Preseason practice begins Aug. 1.

“We’ll have to get some more weight equipment to fill up the newone,” Sartin pointed out. “It will be one of the nicestaround.”

Brown said pouring of the concrete slab was contracted out. MikeKing did the slab work. Rushing Metal Buildings constructed thebuilding frame.

Tony Porter, also a contractor, helped with building. Dirt workor earth moving was done by Oddee Smith Construction Co. AustinElectric completed the wiring of the building.

Lincoln County Superintendent of Education Terry Bristerfurnished a portion of the funding. Mary Ann Adams did theblueprints for the field house.

According to Brown, former Lincoln County superintendent ofeducation Perry Miller set aside some money for the project.Present superintendent Terry Brister pushed it along.

Brown is president of the Bogue Chitto Booster Club. John Milleris vice president and Darlene Miller is thesecretary/treasurer.

Brown said the booster club contributed a large sum of money tothe construction of the facility.

“The volunteer labor helped us build it,” said Brown. “We have areal active booster club. Our school couldn’t function withoutthem.”

“We have had several father-son groups contributing to thework,” said Brown. “A lot of folks have volunteered.” He mentionedLarry and Blake Sasser, and Anthony Stevenson, Earl Moak and EricMoak, Greg Adams, Steve Wallace, Donathan Dillon, Scotty Brown andDonyea Dillon.

Adam Moak, the BC baseball coach, has helped with the projectand so has BC softball coach Scott Leggett and assistant footballcoach Donnie Stuart.

“It has been a community effort, that’s for sure,” saidBrown.

In another long-awaited facelift, the old wooden bleachers havebeen replaced by aluminum seating on the home side of Troy SmithField.

“The new bleachers look nice,” said Brown. “We plan to do somework on the visitors’ side in the future.”

The old field house has been transformed into a storage area.Part of it will be used as a dressing room for visiting teams. Italso will be available for use by visiting softball and baseballteams. Brown said the old field house will be air-conditioned andheated.

Brown said public restrooms are in the process of beingconstructed this month. “We want to have it ready for the firstgames, too.”