Do the right thing Pike County BOE: Honor Dee Hughes

Published 8:38 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rules are made to be broken. It is just that simple.

There is a standing rule put in place by the forefathers of Pike County Schools to not name any school property after someone. I understand the logic behind the edict, but really don’t agree with it. If someone was influential enough to bring positive change to the school system, then why not promote said person to the fullest extent possible. Which brings me to my point.

I recently drove out to Goshen and walked around the dirt patch that will soon become the new Goshen High School softball field. After doing my job of taking photos of the facility for the paper, I closed my eyes and imagined what the park would one day look like. Before leaving, I made the quick trip over to the current softball field. That’s when it hit me.

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Dee Hughes worked until her untimely death to build and grow all of Goshen’s girls sports, but softball was her love. Hughes played in college, and later transformed the tiny Goshen program in to one of the state’s elite. She worked tiresley, even after she learned of her cancer diagnosis, to promote the game she loved to the girls she loved.

Dee told me dozens of times that she didn’t have three daughters – she had dozens. She truly treated each player on her team with the same love and affection that she showed her three softball-playing daughters: Haley, Holly and Hannah.

Hughes beat the streets every week to promote her team and raise money for camps, trips and equipment. Her efforts brought a new covered hitting cage to the current field. She was also the driving force behind the movement to build the new complex. Without her work, Goshen softball would still be floundering around in mediocrity.

Dee touched the lives of hundreds of girls and changed each of them for the better. After she passed last September, I spoke to many of Dee’s former players. Each one expressed the utmost thanks to “Mama Dee.”

I fully believe no one will be the least bit upset if the new complex is named after Dee Hughes. When you have ordinary people doing extraordinary things, you should honor them. Do the right thing members of the Pike County Board, name the new Goshen softball field after Dee Hughes.

She gave her all to Goshen. It is time for us to give a little something back to her.

Ryan McCollough is a sports writer for The Messenger. He covers recreation, high school and Troy University athletics, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the Alabama Sports Writers Association.