It’s been three months now since the new Anna Sports Complex, south of Anna High School, opened for business. The venue, which includes synthetic-turfed baseball and softball fields, eight tennis courts and more than ample seating, now has its inaugural seasons securely in the books. So what’s the verdict?
According to those who should know: Terrific, on several counts.
“The new Sports Complex has been a great addition to our district,” Anna athletic director Jason Heath says. “Sport-specific, the benefit was that we never missed an opportunity to practice or compete due to weather or field-related issues, due to the artificial surface we have.”
He said one improvement is that the batting cages and bull pens are attached to the field. The facility is on-site, so the district conserves time and resources by not having to bus athletes to another site.
“Having eight tennis courts helped coaches make great use of practice time,” Heath added. “We have had a lot of comments on what a great venue it is to watch a high school game or a tennis match. … As far as the community, with us being able to host a great number of playoff games here it has brought additional schools and fans into Anna, where they will dine or visit local businesses, which helps the local economy.”
The Lady Coyotes softball team christened their 250-seat stadium on Feb. 14 versus Van Alstyne.
“We were so excited to open our new complex,” head coach Lindsey Lacy says. “We feel truly blessed to have the facilities we do at Anna. I know our girls are so proud of it and we do everything we can to take care of it, showcase it and represent it. We are looking forward to having success on the field in the future.”
Baseball head coach Joey Hector and the Coyotes opened their 350-seat home a week later on Feb. 20 against Callisburg.
“It was a pretty cool thing,” Hector recalled of that evening. “Because, for these kids, that’s the first baseball field that they’ve called home. We’ve always had to share one.”
Hector says the new facility has provided a real boost for his team.
“It’s a great place to go out to every day and practice,” he said. “It completely changed the mindset of the kids, going to something like that. It’s such an incredible place. It shows that the school and the community are behind the baseball program. … It’s a place where the community can gather and have a little pride in something that the kids get to play on.”
Hector says he’s grateful to Anna’s school board for their part in making the new Complex a reality, especially longtime member Ty Chapman.
“For him to be on the board that put up that thing there, and the rest of the school board members — I’m just so thankful for a facility like that for our kids,” Hector said.
Tennis head coach Vince Sharp debuted Anna’s new courts on Feb. 9 versus Dallas Pinkston and Caddo Mills.
“The tennis courts have been a game changer for us,” he said. “So many schools want to come play our tournaments. Having the room has really opened up what we can do at practice. The players are hitting four times the balls. The improvement the players are making is magnified. The players love coming to the courts every day.”
So it sounds like a home run all around – or 40-love. In fact, Heath says the only hint of a negativity he’s heard is that the venue is still so new, navigation systems don’t quite have it pegged yet. In the meantime, punch in Anna High School. You can’t miss it.