Walker Viking Softball has a proud history. One of a historic Coach (Sheila Kilgore), State Championships (’94, ’95, ’96) , Regional Appearances (Most Recent in ’16), countless college players, and many more successful young ladies to its credit. With all of these bragging points, we always lacked on part to being an elite program.
Many programs today are merely one building block away from being elite, but our situation was different. You see, ours was not a lack of talent, coaching, support, or heart. We lacked what even Maslow would consider the simplest of needs- we had no home. No field. No place to be proud of, or to call our own.
Although beautifully maintained, and always open for us, we played host to some of the top programs in the state of Alabama year in and year out in a city park. We would post lineups in dugouts adjacent to little league teams as they lined up for snow cones. We would chase foul balls alongside church groups playing midweek league games. All of that is now a thing of the past.
Thanks to Superintendent Ann Jackson, The Jasper City Board of Education, Mayors Sonny Posey (Previous Mayor), and David O’Mary (Current Mayor), and The City of Jasper, we now have our missing piece to becoming an elite program. We now have our own field.
The new Softball field, located on the campus of the beautiful new Jasper High School, is located behind the school building, and serves to be one of the original anchors of an athletic complex that will one day hopefully house all athletic facilities.
The field boasts its own concession and eating areas, a uniquely designed press box and office area, restroom facilities, fully furnished turfed dugouts with custom made benches and home locker areas, rock backstops with padding to limit ball scarring, custom windscreens, state of the art lighting and sound systems, and also contains a custom mixed infield area and a manicured sodded playing surface. To top it off, Coca-Cola has provided a magnificent scoreboard that really brings the features of this wonderful facility together nicely.
The field will be commemorated today, March 14th, at 4:15 with a ribbon cutting. The ribbon will be cut by long time Assistant Director of The Alabama High School Athletic Association, Wanda Gilliland. Mrs Gilliland, a former coach at Hamilton High School has long been an advocate for Women’s Athletics in our state.
Coach Brandi Hall and the Viking women will host a top 10 opponent in the opening of the new field as rival Gardendale rolls into town. The Vikes got the best of the Rockets last season, sweeping the season series, and winning both the regular season and area tournaments. The first pitch of the Varsity game will be at 4:30, and the Junior Varsity game will follow.
Make plans to come out and see the new Softball field and support the Lady Vikes as we take on rival Gardendale. You can also follow live updates of the game as you follow us on Twitter @gowalkervikings