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BJHS softball team gets new scoreboard

Sen. Arthur Orr, Sen. Bill Holzclaw and Rep. Mac McCutcheon with members of the Bob Jones High School softball team.

BY SHANNON LAMPTON / SPECIAL TO THE RECORD

It was a good night to be a Patriot:  the softball team and its coaches had been working for years to show what they’re made of,  but their equipment and facilities had not.  Now, they will start the new season with a brand new, state-of-the-art, wireless, LED-lit scoreboard, thanks to four Madison County legislators.

Three architects of the grant, Sen. Arthur Orr, Senator Sen. Bill Holtzclaw and Rep. Mac McCutcheon were on hand at the softball indoor facility last night to share in the excitement.  Rep. Mike Ball could not be there, but luckily for the softball team, he sent his share of the grant money to replace the broken scoreboard.

“It was  just one step up from someone actually reaching in and turning the numbers over by hand,” said Bob Jones Booster Club treasurer Kathy Guest.

During the first game of the state tournament playoffs last spring, the board died, leaving fans and players to look back over their shoulders to check the score on the baseball scoreboard in the next field over. For the rest of the day’s games, they were able to rig the scoreboard to work again,  until lightning struck the spliced wires and killed the scoreboard completely. Now the program was in a bind.

The boosters brainstormed ways to pay for a new scoreboard, but came up empty until they wrote to city, county and state officials, asking for grant money.

“When you have a need like this, the school can’t fund it, the boosters can’t fund it, we could step in,” Holtzclaw said.

He said the Madison County legislators funded the $12,000 project because that is what the general tax dollars discretionary fund is for projects that return tax dollars to the citizens.

“I always said you’d never see me standing in front with a big check with my name on it because it’s not my money, it’s yours,” he said.

McCutcheon agreed.

“Being involved in this has been a real blessing.  I’m just so glad we could be a means to bring this back to you.  Good job, good job.”

Orr congratulated the team on its winning ways, and thanked everyone for “letting us represent you.”  He told the girls to enjoy their new score board and enjoy running the numbers up on opposing teams.  They assured the legislators that they will enjoy doing both.  Senior Centerfielder Allie Stocking smiled brightly and said she was excited because the old scoreboard had been broken so many times.

The scoreboard is on order and should be delivered by Thanksgiving.

It will certainly be ready for the season opener in mid-February, where s Orr, Holtzclaw. McCutcheon and Ball will be on hand to throw out four ceremonial first pitches. The booster club also thanked Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie for his contributions.

The check presentation tonight was another step closer to having a facility that represents the effort the softball players have made, and that those who care about the program have made, too.

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