Field house a dream come true at Thorsby

Published 8:26 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A new athletic training facility was once just wishful thinking among coaches at Thorsby School.

But it is soon to be a dream come true.

Thanks to the efforts of the school’s booster club, parents, students and other generous individuals, plans are underway for a structure that will provide breathing room for the school’s athletic programs.

Once complete, the building will house multiple weight stations, practice equipment and more.

“It’s going to make it possible for us to get all our kids from every sport into one facility to be able to work them out, and that’s huge,” said Billy Jackson, Thorsby’s athletic director and football coach.

The building will measure 75- by 85-feet. One side will house approximately 14 weight training stations—doubling the capacity of the existing field house. On the other side will be batting cages, practice pitching mounds and other types of equipment. The building will also contain restrooms and a coach’s office.

Currently, there is not enough room for the school’s 200-plus athletes to train under one roof simultaneously. In order for everyone to get time in the weight room, varsity and junior varsity must alternate training days.

“Weightlifting is the backbone of any program,” Jackson said. “If your kids are not working out and getting stronger, everyone else is. It’s tough to compete with the bigger schools.”

An indoor training area will also come in handy on rainy days, especially for the school’s baseball team. It will end the inconvenience of splitting the students into groups between the field house and gymnasium.

The old field house, which was built in the early 1990s, will likely be turned into a full locker room.

“I think it will be very beneficial to all sports here at Thorsby,” said baseball coach Ab Argent. “It’s something we desperately need. We need a bigger area to accommodate our kids—male and female athletes.”

School Principal Russ Bryan thanked Sen. Hank Erwin for a $10,000 gift toward the facility. He also thanked the athletic booster club for helping the school reach out and locate resources to fund the project.

An architect is working on plans to present to the Board of Education and the State Building Committee in June.