Tradition-rich field

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

Charles Henderson High School baseball fans accustomed to the thud of baseball on wood following a passed ball will not have to get their ears checked when they don’t hear that sound this year.

As part of the ongoing improvements to Frazier Field at Hogan’s Hole, the Trojans will have a brand new wall when they open up the 2009 campaign Feb. 16.

“In the last year or two we have discussed improvements we can make on our baseball field,” CHHS principal David Helms said. “First we had the new lights and the scoreboard and this year we wanted to upgrade the wood wall around the field.”

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Helms said he was happy the school was able to do more than just upgrade the facility.

There was no refurbishing the old wooden wall surrounding the back of Frazier Field. When fans walk through the gate at Hogan’s Hole they will be walking into a historic facility. Not only did the school get a wall made of brick, but also they will have a wall full of the bricks that made up the old Troy High School on Elm Street.

“We are fired up about how this will look,” Helms said. “It is something that adds to the pride of our campus. We did not just upgrade, we stepped it up a notch.”

Helms said having a piece of history on the campus is great.

“There is obviously some sentimental value to using the old bricks from the original Troy High School,” he said. “We are so appreciative they let us use those old bricks. And every brick you see down there will be from the old high school.”

The wall will stretch from dugout to dugout behind home plate and will cover each dugout as well.

First year Trojan head coach Derek Irons said it is a thrill to have a piece of history on the field.

“I think it was a great idea to put the bricks from the old high school on the field,” Irons said. “It was a great concept and it is great to have part of the tradition of the town and school system right down there on our field.”

Irons said interest has been high regarding the renovations and he said it is great that so many people care.

“It is a real good feeling to have people come up to me and ask ‘What is going on down at the field,’” Irons said. “And everyone is excited to see the finished product in a few weeks.”

Helms said the project is on schedule to be completed before the Trojans host the Terry Sikes Memorial Tournament Feb. 19-21.

The wall will add to the overall quality of the baseball facility, according to Helms.

Helms said he would like to thank Troy City Schools superintendent Linda Felton-Smith for allowing the project to go forward.

In addition to the wall, the Trojans are looking to build a permanent batting cage right outside the fence in left field past the dugout.

More renovation plans are in the works for after the 2009 season. Helms said he would love to continue add on to the baseball complex.

“We are hoping to be able to tear down the storage shed behind the field and build a new storage facility for our football and baseball programs,” he said. “There will be the storage part, baseball dressing rooms for the baseball team and a coaches’ office. If we can get that completed then we feel our baseball complex will be up to speed.”