The Brook Hill School

A weekly message from the Athletic Director

“ALL ORANGE…All The Time”


HOW TO BUILD A SOFTBALL PROGRAM |BLOG PART 1|

If you ever get the urge to build a softball program, or any other program for that matter, I have some pointers for you.

When I came to Brook Hill in 2008, we had girls’ softball and many people worked hard for it to be as good as possible.

People like Ricky Clements and Brian Seldon donated time, energy, and resources into giving our girls the best we could offer.

Coach Amanda Reed did a great job of preparing our Lady Guard Softball Team for the next level.

The time had come however, for our Girls Softball Program to really take off and reach the potential of becoming great.

One of the first things I recognized we needed to do at Brook Hill when I became Athletic Director was to place more emphasis and priority on all of our girls’ sports.  My goal was for our girl’s teams to be on an equal par with our boy’s teams when it came to staffing, funding, promotion, and success.

That’s what I wanted to do and I was eager to get started as quickly as possible.  We began the “new emphasis” by starting Girls’ Soccer in 2011, and convinced State Champion Coach David Collins to not only coach the boys, but to take on the challenge of leading our Girls’ Soccer Program as well.

We brought in Ricky Clements to head up our Volleyball Program and our numbers rose from 9 girls playing high school volleyball 2012 to 48 this past year. Last spring we hired Ivan Johnson to lead Girls Basketball after a similar 14 year stint at Dallas First Baptist, and the Lady Guard Basketball team responded by advancing to the TAPPS AAAA State Playoffs.

All of these hires have been huge, but none bigger than when we landed Anthony Springer as our Softball Coach in 2011.

Anthony is a known commodity throughout East Texas and beyond due to his leadership of the Sneaky Cleats Softball Organization and his knowledge of softball as well as his ability to teach the game.

In his first season as the BH head man, Springer was approached by Clarence and Corene Schwab, whose granddaughter Desarae Rowan was a member of the Varsity Softball team.

So wherever you are out there in the blogosphere, and you’re thinking about trying to build a sports program, I have three helpful steps for you to follow.

How To Build A Program Step 1:  Have people like Clarence and Corene Schwab offer to help in building your program into one of the best in the state.

The Schwab’s selected method of helping was to donate the funds to pay for some improvements to the existing softball facility.

I have met few people who are as generous and well intentioned as Clarence and Corene.  Not only do they have huge hearts, their hearts are in the right place.  Initially, the Schwab’s were going to help in upgrading the old softball field into a venue that was more convenient and welcoming to fans.  The original idea was to a construct a sidewalk from the parking lot all the way back to the girl’s field, and add two new sets of portable bleachers.  When “Phase 1” was completed, softball fans were grateful for the more convenient path to the diamond, and the adequate seating that was now provided.

How To Build A Program Step 2:  Have people like the Schwab’s who want to do more for your program…to go over and above!

In 2011, Clarence and Corene committed to donating the funds to not only build a completely new state of the art softball stadium, they went a step further in providing an indoor training facility for baseball and softball as well as restrooms and a concession stand for the fans of both sports.

As you know by now, the spectacular, beautiful, much talked about Schwab Field is located on the north side of the BH Upper School campus.  It is the home of our Lady Guard Softball Team who advanced to the TAPPS Final Four State Tournament in Class AAA last season, and who are currently tied for 1st Place in District 2-AAAA this year.  Teams across East Texas are constantly calling to use Schwab Field for playoff games, as well as to use our design as a model for building a new stadium of their own.

In the four years of Lady Guard Softball calling Schwab Field “home”, our girls are undefeated at home since opening in 2012, including last Tuesday nights exciting 2-1 win over top ranked Dallas Christian in 11 innings.

The building of the new softball field and training facility has not only proven to be a first class venue for games and training purposes, it has given all of our female athletes a sense of pride and built their confidence.  It has built confidence in our female athletes due to the fact that people like the Schwab’s care enough about our athletes and The Brook Hill School, that they invest their resources in worthwhile endeavors.

I will be forever grateful to Clarence and Corene for their generosity, their kindness, and for their vision for our girl’s athletic program.

Their investment in Brook Hill has made me a much better Athletic Director, seeing that we have this unbelievable facility to showcase when people visit our campus.

What Herrington Stadium did for football, Schwab Field and training facility has done for softball.

Remember earlier when I said I had three helpful steps in building a program?

I do…but you’ll have to wait until next week for Step 3, and you won’t want to miss it!

And that’s another reason to be “ALL ORANGE…All The Time”!

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The Brook Hill School | 1051 N. Houston St. | Bullard, TX 75757 | (903) 894-5000 | 800.657.3167
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