THS using grant to install enclosed batting cages

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Thompson High School baseball team will be able to come out swinging in less-than-ideal weather situations this season after the team received a $25,000 grant from a local legislator.

State Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, presented the grant to the school during an Oct. 6 THS Baseball Booster Club meeting. The school will use the grant to enclose the team’s outdoor batting cages, said THS baseball coach Pat Hamrick.

By enclosing the batting cages, the team will be able to practice during the cold winter months of the offseason, Hamrick said.

“During the preseason, it’s usually pretty cold and damp outside, so this will help us with that,” Hamrick said. “All of the other schools around here have enclosed batting cages, so this will bring us up with everybody else.

“We were the first school in the Birmingham area to have batting cages, and now we’re the only ones who don’t have them enclosed,” Hamrick added with a laugh.

The school likely will complete the project before the baseball team begins practicing in January, Hamrick said.

“We are really excited about it. The sooner we can get started on it, the better,” Hamrick said. “Our plan is to have it ready before we start practicing for the season in January.”

The team secured the grant after a member of the Baseball Booster Club talked with Ward about funding the project.

“We had a Booster Club meeting last Wednesday, and Cam came and presented the check to us then,” Hamrick said. “One of the Booster Club members called Cam about this, and luckily he had some money available to help us.”