C-N Dedicates Renovated McCown Field
Pitching In – C-N Soccer boosters joined in ribbon cutting ceremonies for McCown Field Thursday, September 1. They included (l-r) Jimbo and Mandy Conner, Tom Strate, Sandy and Mike Price, Men’s Coach Richard Moodie, C-N Presidnet Randall O’Brien, Women’s Coach Carol Bonnes, Mira and James Craine, Kenny and Roland Zitt, Bryan and Anna McCarter and Brian Purdom.
Carson-Newman’s newly revitalized McCown Field was dedicated last week, capping a “most productive summer,” C-N Athletic Director David Barger said.
“This is something that we have wanted for a long, long time,” he said. “Ultimately, we were able to accomplish it with the interest of generous donors, the dedication of our fine coaching staffs, the sweat equity of players and the yeoman’s effort of one of our institutional fundraisers, Chris Cates, who went beyond the call of fundraising. We began with the practical need for an upgraded playing surface, but there was enough momentum and donor commitment that we wound up with that and, on top of it, an atmosphere that enhances play and draws fans.”
Cates, who became what Barger called “our ad hoc project manager,” deflected compliments to those who contributed to the $150,000 effort. He said the input of C-N soccer coaches Carol Bonnes (women) and Richard Moodie (men) was invaluable.
“Mr. Barger’s right in that it took lots of support from wonderful donors to make this happen,” said Cates. “There were some anonymous supporters who took the idea and started running with it, and then we had amazing buy-in from folks like Gary Wyatt Marvin Marine, Jeff Taylor and Stan Eversole. The end of phase two is in sight, we just need to finish raising money for the fence.”
The McCown revitalization project began in 2008 when supporters wanted to help fulfill the dream of Rollie File, a freshman who wrote an essay about hoping to play under lights not long before he died in an automobile accident. Work on the most recent phase began in June with the removal of old sod. The installation of a new irrigation system – which Barger says will yield significant savings – was installed for both McCown and the adjacent softball field. The pitch was then leveled, graded, and prepped for new sod, which was laid in July.
Cates said the project needs just over $20,000 to complete the phase. Brick columns have been erected and await coated cyclone fencing that will secure the field and enhance the venue.