LHS dedicates new softball field

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 3, 2006

The Luverne Lady Tiger teams stepped onto a new softball field for the 2005-06 season constructed on the campus of Luverne School as the sports ground was dedicated Tuesday afternoon, March 7.

Earl Franks, principal of Luverne High School, introduced the many people responsible for the completion of the newest athletic field.

&#8220Our girls now have a practice and game facility that they can call home,” Franks said. &#8220The historic occasion was made possible by a concerted community effort. We have brought everything to the Luverne campus.”

Some 300 fans and supporters stood as Franks led the ceremony recognizing approximately forty contributors. Special accolades went to Sandy Walker.

Coach Sandy Walker is responsible for the girls' athletic program being restored at Luverne School. She reorganized high school basketball and started the volleyball and softball programs at the school. These programs were the first of their kind in the county's schools.

&#8220She was a champion for girls' sports at Luverne when no one else was,” Franks said.

&#8220She poured her heart and finances into all girls' sports.

As an unpaid coach, she worked tirelessly with our girls to develop these teams and help make Luverne competitive.

She has a love and passion for girls' athletics. Our softball field is made possible by the vision, dedication, and hard work of Sandy Walker and other Luverne family like her.”

Presented with a softball signed by the players and coaches, Walker took the mound and threw out the first pitch for the Lady Tigers game against Straughn.

Just before the Varsity Lady Tigers took the field, a moment of silence was observed for Robert Snell, the father of softball in Luverne and longtime friend and supporter of Luverne High School athletics.

He passed away the preceding Monday after an extended illness.

Walker and her assistant Dale Simmons coached together from 1997 to 2001.

In 1997, Simmons became head coach of the first junior high Lady Tiger softball team and took over the head coaching duties of the varsity team in 2001.

The school's major renovations for the 2005-06 school year combines the financial efforts of the Luverne Athletic Club, corporate donations from Luverne School partners, the Crenshaw County Board of Education, community clubs and organizations, and area businesses. The city as well as the county and the state's elected politicians assisted in securing the donations.

The actual construction and laborious hard work was completed by the unified efforts of the school's administration, coaches, faculty, parents, students, and friends.