UM adds facilities for baseball, track, lacrosse

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The University of Montevallo has added two buildings to its athletics facilities.

Team members and coaches gathered with members of the community to cut the ribbon in front of the new facilities and celebrate the additions.

Before the locker rooms and clubhouse were built, both programs had to walk to practices and games from the Student Activity Center on the opposite end of campus.

Not only did this cut into practice time, it did not allow the students to have a place of their own to socialize as teams. Now the students can relax together before and after practice to form tighter bonds as teammates.

The new baseball clubhouse has lockers, comfortable seating, a television, a laundry room, showers and table tennis.

“It’s fantastic … I feel very fortunate to have a facility that’s this nice,” head baseball coach Chandler Rose said.

“It’s definitely been a great place to have. We can place all our stuff here and just have a place to hang out before games or during games. It’s a great asset to our program,” senior baseball player Matthew Furuto said.

The track and field locker rooms and lacrosse locker rooms are outfitted in a similar style. The men and women have separate rooms with lockers and seating. The men’s room has an air hockey table and the women’s room has an arcade game.

There is also room for athletic trainers to provide physical therapy to students.

“In the Division II level, there’s not too many schools that have team rooms or locker rooms and offices at their track and field facility,” track coach Tommy Barksdale said. “I’m just thankful. It’s a great facility … and it’s already helped us out in more ways than one.”

The additions to the athletic facilities also serve as recruitment tools, according to coaches and athletic director Mark Richard.

Recruitment is important for the men’s lacrosse team’s first year at Montevallo, according to lacrosse head coach Jason Lange.

“It’s been great as far as recruiting goes to show the recruits that the University really wants the sport to be successful,” Lange said. “It was really refreshing to come here … and see that this was being built and that the University was supporting the student athletes.”

The new buildings were funded mainly by private donations and assistance from the county, according to Richard.