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New athletic facility coming to Wallace Community College

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:32 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) --

Wallace Community College will soon have one of the top-notch athletic facilities in the state for junior college athletics.

The parking lot behind the field house is just an overflow parking lot for students at Wallace Community College, but this parking lot could give Wallace an edge on their opponents in baseball and softball come October when their state of the art facility is scheduled to be finished.

"I'm on my 24th year now and it's something we've been wanting for a long time and it's really going to help our athletic program develop kids," said Wallace Head Baseball Coach and Athletic Director Mackey Sasser.

The facilities will not just benefit current athletes, they'll also be a recruiting tool for the coaches.

"It brings talent from all over that want to come to Wallace college," Sasser explained.

Many local players want to journey away from home for college, but coach Sasser hopes this will have them thinking twice.

“This may attract more of our local players to stay home with this indoor facility to go along with our baseball field and softball field.”

The facility will also pay tribute to a man well known within the Wallace Baseball community, former coach Johnny Oppert.

Oppert not only coached but mentored many players during his time at Wallace

Henry County Commission Chairman David Money remembers when Oppert asked him to play on the very first team.

"Long after he and the rest of us are gone, this facility that will bear his name will continue to pay tribute to the thousands of lives that he's affected," said Former Wallace Baseball Player David Money.

Money wants to issue what he calls the 2020 challenge to any player who has been touched by coach Oppert at any point in their life whether it be at Wallace or any other school he has coached.

"If anybody will make a donation to this facility in honor of Coach Oppert or in memory of Hank Kennedy I will match it up to $1010 and I challenge anybody that's ever been affected by Coach Johnny Oppert," Money added.

In Money’s eyes, the new facility is a substantial upgrade from where he, Oppert and the rest of that very first team started out.

“When we went to practice the first thing, we did the outfielders went out to the grass and picked up cow patties, there were cows out there and there was no fence,” Money continued. “The infielders like us had to pick up rocks on the infield and then we would practice.”

Again, the school is scheduled to break down on the new facility in the coming weeks and are hoping to have it completed by October.

If you would like to take Chairman Money up on his challenge, you can Mail contributions to:

WCC Foundation

1141 Wallace Drive

Dothan, AL 36303

For any other questions, contact Tracy Brooks at (334) 556-2626 or tbrooks@wallace.edu.

Copyright 2020 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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