Champions Center serves on snowy days

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Ribbon-cutting slated for Monday, Feb. 24

Weather mid-February was not accommodating for Seward County Community College Saints Softball players, who faced 20-degree temperatures and a playing field with very little green grass. No problem: the team logged a solid day in the college’s new indoor practice facility.

“The Sharp Family Champions Center is a game changer, literally,” said SCCC President, Dr. Ken Trzaska. “We’ve been talking about the possibilities this facility offers, and in the short month it has been open for campus use, we have already seen that is true.”

Women’s softball players have already put the facility to good use, said head coach Ryan Wondrasek.

“The impact of having the Sharp Family Champions Center on campus is hard to put into words,” he said. “With the inclement weather we have had for the last month, we’ve only been able to practice outside three days. But we’ve been able to continue our player development and preparation for this season without missing a beat.”

On Feb. 13, that meant the softball players put in competitive bullpen training and live situational hitting on the artificial turf before turning to the fun pursuits of Ultimate Frisbee and Ultimate Football. Baseball players have also logged practice time indoors, where the roof height exceeds the average of other indoor facilities in Kansas. The feel and stability of the indoor surface is excellent, noted baseball coach Mike Davidson, and provides a stable, durable option to muddy fields and icy surfaces.

The public can see the new artificial turf and walking track in the Sharp Family Champions Center at the ribbon-cutting and open house set for 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24. A short ceremony will be followed by light refreshments and an opportunity to take a lap around the indoor practice facility.

“We’re excited to introduce this facility to the community, and looking forward to the next phases,” said Trzaska. While limited to on-campus use at this time, the center will be comprised of two more phases, adding public restrooms, locker rooms, club house, coaches offices, and weightlifting area.

“The vision for the Champions Center is big, and this is a great start to something that will benefit our community,” said Trzaska. “We are grateful to our lead donors, Gene and JoAnn Sharp, supporters Gary and Gwen Dunnam, former coach and AD Galen McSpadden, and of course, the SCCC Foundation, which spearheaded the fundraising for this project.”

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