From AC Athletics
When all anyone else could see were trees and heavy equipment, Dr. Larry Phillips was already envisioning families enjoying spring days at the ballpark.
Contractors began the clearing and construction process for the new Angelina College baseball and softball complex back in the summer of 2008. Phillips, then the AC president, periodically would stroll across the campus to check the progress. He’d shown everyone who would look the graphic maps of the proposed facility, yet he seemed to be one of the only ones who truly could see how it would look 10 years later.
The “new” fields held their Opening Day ceremonies on Feb. 6, 2010, with both the Lady Roadrunner softball team and the Roadrunner baseball team in action. Phillips was on-hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitches in each arena.
Today, the complex looks exactly the way he hoped it would look.
The facilities are considered some of the region’s finest, a destination for numerous high school and collegiate tournaments. Phillips had already predicted they would be so.
However, the complex also serves in the exact capacity he dreamed it would: Entire families sprawl across the stands, the picnic tables and the grassy areas. Some sit on behind the fences in trucks. There are no bad seats on either field.
Between the baseball and softball fields is a large, open area – and all that was part of the original plan. On any given game day, kids scatter everywhere, chasing foul balls or balls they brought themselves. “Game Day” isn’t just for the big kids wearing uniforms. It’s also for the little guys and girls dreaming big of one day standing on the diamonds instead of outside them.
Angelina College will recognize Phillips’ vision in a dedication ceremony scheduled for Thursday, April 19. On that day, the college will re-name the entire facility the Larry Phillips Family Sports Complex. The first 200 hundred fans through the gate will receive t-shirts, and the first 200 children ages seven and under will receive wiffle balls and bats.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the facility’s front gate. At 6 p.m., the Roadrunner baseball team will host Panola College in a conference matchup.
As the big guys battle it out on the diamond, there will very likely be a wiffle ball game going on right behind the bleachers.