Greenbrier High School's baseball team established itself as one of Georgia's top programs by winning three state championships in the first three years the school existed.
Greenbrier High School is constructing a 5,000-square-foot indoor baseball and softball practice facility.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Likewise, the Wolfpack softball program earned its stellar reputation by winning its first state title in November after nailing nine straight region titles.
The 8-year-old school's reputation for having two of the state's best programs was cemented recently when construction began on a new indoor baseball/softball facility.
Groundbreaking began in early August on the 5,000-square-foot facility, which will house batting cages and pitching mounds.
The building will be the area's first indoor facility designed solely for baseball and softball. Harlem has a similar facility, but it is used primarily as a weight room and contains coaches' offices.
"We are extremely excited about the facility," senior pitcher Ben Dukes said. "It puts us on par with some of the great baseball programs in the state. It's just a great thing for our program to have."
Greenbrier coach Ed Williams said the idea for the facility had been kicked around since Greenbrier opened in 1996.
He had seen some of the state's best programs, such as Lowndes and Columbus, with similar facilities.
The decision to go forward with the construction process didn't come until last year.
Williams said unconditional support from Athletic Director Mickey Derrick and Principal Sandra Carraway helped the school secure a $24,000 loan from the Columbia County Board of Education.
An additional $16,000 will be needed to cover the cost of the building, not including the price of the equipment.
The Greenbrier booster club and the baseball team will raise the money to repay the loan and fund the rest of the construction process, which should wrap up before Christmas.
The baseball team will be ready to move in this coming spring.
"We felt that it could make us better, year-round," Williams said. "When we start practicing in February, we run into a lot of bad weather."
Williams indicated there would be other amenities he would like but declined to mention specifics other than putting down carpet in the building.
"We have to worry about finishing the building before we worry about adding things to it," he said.
Greenbrier's softball coach Garrett Black was equally excited about the facility.
"I was all for it after Ed got the ball rolling," he said. "It would not only help the boys in baseball, but also the girls for softball."
Williams is an assistant to Black during softball season and Black will help Williams during the upcoming baseball season.
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