When Veterans High School head softball and baseball coach David Coffey arrived to work Friday morning, he wasn’t anticipating the news delivered to him by an assistant coach.
A strong storm that battered Kathleen late Thursday and into Friday morning, downing trees and causing damage across the area had struck the Warhawks’ baseball and softball complex directly.
“I took a step outside the door and saw some stuff on the baseball field, but I wasn’t exactly prepared for the extent of what I saw once I actually got down to the field,” Coffey said.
The baseball field took the brunt of the damage when a dugout roof at the softball field blew off and into the backstop at the adjacent baseball field.
“The roof on the clubhouse at the softball field lifted up and blew completely off,” Coffey said. “It flew onto the baseball netting and (backstop) poles. It damaged six of the eight poles on the baseball field. At some point we’re probably going to have to dig those up and replace them.”
Despite the storm hitting at the culmination of the softball regular season, it actually happened at a pretty favorable time for Veterans.
The Warhawks had two regular season games remaining, both on the road, and the GHSA region 2-AAAA tournament getting underway this week is being held at Southern Pines Sports Complex in Dublin.
Veterans enters that tournament tied for first place in the region at 10-2 and is a favorite to host a first round state playoff series beginning on Oct. 14.
Coffey believes the stint away from home will afford him plenty of time to have the softball field ready for play.
“Aesthetically it looks a little ugly, but the field itself is untouched,” Coffey said. “There’s a lot of material things like the field signs and stuff like that are destroyed, but other than that, the actual field itself is fine. We can still host, it’s just going to be a little aesthetically displeasing to the eye.”
He also believes the heavily damaged baseball field will be ready for the first day of practice on Jan. 18.
“Right now I’m still just trying to wrap my mind around exactly what happened and how to fix things in the future,” Coffey said. “As far as being ready for baseball season, I think we’ll be good.”