Jason Osborn is serious about turning the Lady Dogs softball team into a perennial powerhouse. He and the parents of the players are so serious in fact that they are revamping the team and field to help make sure they achieve that goal.
Several parents noticed the advertisements along the fence of the Greenbrier softball field and wondered why none were on the Thomson field. That is something they decided to change.
India Usry takes cuts in the batting cage last week.
"I said, 'Why is nobody doing this for us?'" said Tammy Robertson, whose daughter Courtney Morey plays on the team.
The parents approached Coach Osborn and Thomson High Principal Rudy Falana with the idea of gathering donations and selling signs to go in the outfield that could generate money for the team to buy new uniforms and equipment.
"The equipment was so old, they just need updating period," Ms. Robertson said.
Ms. Robertson along with another parent, Deborah Bell, began selling the advertising space to local businesses in the hopes that they could raise enough money to fund all the upgrades that Coach Osborn wants. He said those upgrades would be a huge help to the team.
"There's just a variety of different things that need to be done. There's always a need for money," Coach Osborn said. "We've got a few signs; we've got a few donations already in. ... If we can get some more we definitely need it. We're trying to get everything turned around and headed in the right direction."
The support from parents has been a great help, Coach Osborn said, especially since he just started with the program this summer.
"I'm new to the community, new to the program, and I'm trying to get the softball thing right," he said. "I'm having to lean on some people for some support as far as that goes until I get my feet on the ground out here."
Ms. Robertson said her hope is that the parents continue to support the coach and team so that it will translate into success on the field.
"We wanted him to have the resources to play the kind of ball he wants to play," she said.
The team has been working out this summer in preparation for the Aug. 8 start of the season in a Jefferson County tournament. Coach Osborn said the biggest challenge so far has been a young team trying to get the fundamentals down.
"The girls are really working hard, and I'm excited about that and excited about the turnout," he said.
Anyone wanting to make donations to the team or to buy a sign for the outfield can call Coach Osborn at 595-9393.