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Plans for indoor hitting/pitching complex at MCHS moving forward

Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

During its October meeting, the Metro Moore County School Board approved the location for a new spring sports facility.

After Moore County director of schools Chad Moorehead showed board members a photo with suggested sites for the facility, the board asked for input. With no objections, Moorehead said the construction of the facility would proceed.

The proposed facility is a 35-foot by 70-foot building that would house an indoor hitting and pitching complex for both Moore County High School baseball and softball teams. Most teams in surrounding counties, including Coffee and Lincoln, already have such facilities in place so athletes can practice during the winter months before the spring sports season begins.

“It will help the baseball and softball team make great strides in that they can still get some practice in during bad weather,” said Moorehead.

The structure is being built in honor of the late Joe Strasler, a former Moore County High School student-athlete who lost his life in a car wreck in February. Strasler’s parents, John and DeDe Strasler, have spearheaded the project. They first approached Moorehead about the facility in the summer, and Becky Anderson was at the September school board meeting to present the proposal, officially setting the wheels in motion.

“All the financing is coming from the Joe Strasler Memorial Fund,” said Moore County baseball coach Josh Deal. “It’s basically his family, his mom and dad and their friends. It’s been supported by (people from) Lynchburg and from Tullahoma alike.”

Strasler attended school in Tullahoma before enrolling at MCHS.

Added Moorehead, “I think there has been great support for that because of who Joe was and the type of person he was. I think that it’s a great testament to his family, that so many people cared about him … not only here in Moore County, but also in Tullahoma.”

According to minutes from the September board meeting, Moorehead spoke with the Straslers about the location of the new building. It was then recommended to approve the structure under the direction of Moorehead and MCHS principal Buddy Smith.

A motion was made to approve the construction; it passed by a 5-0 vote.

The proposed site is a parcel of land between the high school baseball and softball fields, beside the baseball team’s current outdoor batting cage.

Deal said that when completed, the project would be a tremendous asset to both baseball and softball.

“That’s going to be something to develop players all the way up from middle school to high school; it’s a very vital tool to building a program,” he said. “A lot of the area teams have them already and it really shows after you have had one for a couple of years. When January rolls around, you can have an open facility and that’s when players can come in on their own and hit and throw.”

Deal said he hopes the concrete foundation will be poured sometime in January. He said it wouldn’t take long after that for the building to go up, though there is no hard deadline in place.

Moore County’s baseball and softball teams typically do much of their indoor work in the school’s commons area. The new facility will be a marked improvement.

“It’s not the same,” said Deal. “The commons area you have to share. You have to get your stuff up there and then you have to share. It’s just not something that we can use all the time.”