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Avery Trace Middle To Build An On-Campus Softball Field

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Avery Trace Middle To Build An On-Campus Softball Field

Avery Trace Middle School is gearing up to solicit bids for the construction of an on-campus softball field.

Athletic Director Cliff Matlock said the team has been traveling across town to Jere Whitson for practices and games for nearly 30 years. He said a field on campus would increase the popularity of the sport. He said the campus has limited space available, but a spot between the football and baseball fields has been identified.

“I think first and foremost, it’s a safety thing because you’re having to get in a car and go,” Matlock said. “And anytime we can put something here on campus, it’s a lot easier for the SRO to cover it. It’s a lot easier for administration to cover it because right now, we’re spread out.”

Matlock said several softball players wrote letters advocating for an on-campus field. He said much to the excitement of those players, construction could begin as soon as this summer.

“That’s something that you love to see out of your student-athletes, is them advocating for themselves,” Matlock said. “You know, that’s tough for a middle schooler to do, but that shows some leadership and hopefully, that’ll carry on as they go throughout their athletic career.”

Matlock said the school often has two or three athletic events simultaneously happening in different parts of Cookeville. He said another venue on campus will help limit the school from being scattered throughout the city so frequently. He said he hopes to have the field complete in time for competition next spring.

“It’s going to be a pretty basic softball design,” Matlock said. “I mean, we’re not building a stadium per se, or anything like that, but it’s going to be a good functional field.”

He said without travel as a deterrent, he believes more students will join the softball team and begin learning lessons on the field that will translate into all facets of their lives as they grow older.

“I think at this level, you start to build character,” Matlock said. “You start to build work ethic. All of those things can carry over into the classroom. Coaches can play an extremely important role in building the character, building work ethic, building comradery, building teamwork.”


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