by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMSports) – The Truett-McConnell College Department of Athletics announced the advancement of Phase II in their Moving Forward campaign, January 23, a mere seven months since its launch in June.
In spring of 2013, TMC's first ever athletic capital campaign was launched to alleviate immediate athletic facility needs. Over $100,000 in funding was quickly secured for Phase I and in June, phase II of the campaign was launched with an ambitious goal to raise $315,000. With the help of many generous donors, the funding for Phase II has been secured, and construction of several new athletic facilities will soon begin.
"This is a tremendous move forward for Bears Athletics," said Truett-McConnell's Director of Athletics, Dr. Stacy Hall. "I've said from day one that Truett-McConnell Athletics is committed to winning. We want to build a long tradition of championships here and that starts with better facilities. The Lord has blessed us greatly and we are incredibly grateful."
Big changes are in TMC's athletic future as on-campus construction is underway. Changes include: a new softball field, an indoor baseball/softball/golf practice facility, several new scoreboards, a new lighted intramural field, and a new regulation soccer field. The indoor practice facility will be roughly 50' x 90' and include batting cages, pitching mounds, and two golf hitting bays, complete with a computerized swing-analysis system and a golf course simulator.
"We want our student-athletes, coaches, and community to be proud of TMC, and the donations to the Moving Forward Campaign are tangible evidence that our community and loyal supporters are grateful for these student-athletes and care about their success," Hall said.
He quickly thanked TMC President, Dr. Emir Caner, and the entire administration for their support: "It's through your support that we are able to build outstanding facilities that our student-athletes can be proud of."
Excitement for these new facilities is felt throughout the entire campus, especially within the softball team. "Having a field on campus and an indoor facility to practice in will greatly transform our program," said Jenni Shepard, TMC's head softball coach. Since the program's inception in 2006, TMC softball players have played on recreation fields located several miles off campus at the local YMCA.
"All past, current, and future players should celebrate with great pride and enthusiasm as we will finally have a home for the softball program," Shepard said.
Mike Croley, head baseball coach for the Bears, echoed Shepard's enthusiasm: "It has been such a blessing to be a part of what the Lord is doing here at Truett-McConnell College," he said. "The addition of the new facilities will provide our student-athletes the opportunity to improve their God given ability day-in and day-out, regardless of weather."
Baseball and softball are not the only teams benefiting from the on campus improvements. Dusty Rogers, head golf coach for the Bears said, "The new indoor facility is going to be an excellent addition to the golf program as it will bring a new facility for the team to practice in and serve as an excellent recruiting tool.""We are the first program in North Georgia to offer a state of the art facility like this," Rogers went on to say, "and we're very excited about what we can do with it."
With Phase II on target, focus will transition to the completion of the $600,000 Phase III, which includes a new baseball/softball clubhouse and other athletic facility needs.
To make a donation to the Moving Forward Campaign, please log onto www.tmcbears.com.