- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The Brunswick Community College baseball team is scheduled to play its 2011 home opener at noon Feb. 12 against Hartford Community College at West Brunswick High School.
It most likely will be last time the Dolphins open their season at West.
Working is progressing on the field and stadium at BCC, said Robbie Allen, the head baseball coach and athletics director at BCC.
“I’m at least 80 percent comfortable saying we’ll be here in the fall,” Allen said Dec. 30. “There is still that 20 percent, but I think we have enough people who are interested and willing to help out and do what they can. Once we start building, I think other people will jump on board and help also, too.”
Allen is already getting inquiries from out of state about BCC hosting a tournament.
“I actually was in conversation through e-mail with someone this morning wanting to do a tournament here,” he said. “Because of the situation we’re in, not knowing whether the field would be ready this summer and have lights, they’re going to Richmond, Virginia, to have it.
“I really think we can have some big tournaments here that would benefit the tourism in our county. This tournament that is going to be held in Richmond has 16 teams. Hopefully, we can (be offered it) next year.”
The stadium will be across the street from the Dinah E. Gore Fitness & Aquatics Center.
“We met with a group of businessmen in the Shallotte area and we’re trying to piece together what we can to build this baseball field,” Allen said. “The county is grading the field. We’ve gotten bids on sod, bids on irrigation. We’re getting bids on fencing. We got bids on lighting the field.
“We’re hoping if all should go well there is a possibility we could have a baseball field here in May.”
Allen said the field will be 400 feet to center and 320 feet down the lines. Stadium seating capacity is estimated at 1,500-2000 persons.
“If we had to start from scratch, it would be anywhere from $500,000 to $750,000,” Allen said about the project. “We’re hoping to cut the cost back to $350,000 to $500,000.
“We’re looking for all the help we can get from anybody willing to help. Whether it’s to lay a block, to lay a piece of sod, to dig a ditch for irrigation, to donate money. We don’t get any state money for athletics. Everything we do is by fundraising or donations.”
Helping spur the construction has been the success of the young BCC baseball program. Last year it set a team record for Region 10 victories and overall victories. Pitcher Brock Holmes was selected third team to the NJCAA Division II All-America baseball teams. Six sophomores on this year’s team have accepted scholarships to play baseball at four-year colleges (Joshua Powell at Coastal Carolina, Jay Cannon at East Carolina, John Faircloth at Charleston Southern, Daniel Oliver at Mount Olive, Drew Alford and Tyler Barnes at UNC Pembroke).
“We have about three other guys people are looking at,” Allen said. “One of our goals is not really how many wins we have—even though that’s nice—it’s how many players we have who move on and play at the next level and get an education.”
The stadium also may help revive American Legion Baseball in the county, which played its games at North Brunswick High School. Last year there was no team.
“We’ve been without a Legion team, and one of the biggest reasons is because you have to drive from one end of the county to the other end of the county,” Allen said. “This would be centrally located for them to play on.
“It has been 20 years since there has been a state American Legion baseball tournament on the east coast or in this area. We’d like to eventually host that here. Baseball in this county is pretty big, has been for a while.”
Allen was alluding to Brunswick County Dixie Baseball teams having competed in five straight Dixie World Series and to West Brunswick’s NCHSAA Class 3A 2004 state championship.
Whether lights will be installed in time for the first game on the field remains to be seen.
“If we had to without lights right now, that would be fine,” Allen said. “We would like to do the lights so we could host tournaments.
“It is remarkable how things are growing and progressing. Even though the economy is in the shape it is in, things are still happening.”
First-time visitors to the college often think the site is being cleared for future academic buildings.
“We want to put a sign out there that says: Future site of Brunswick Community College baseball,” Allen said. “We get asked that question all time: What are you building? That’s fine. I like to talk about it.”
Anyone who wants to participate in the project may talk to Allen by calling (910) 755-7321.