This is a letter that was submitted to the Weekly Citizen office last week by an anonymous parish resident that thinks it's high time improvements are made to Butch Gore Park in St. Amant for the betterment of the players, coaches and fans.
This is a letter that was submitted to the Weekly Citizen office last week by an anonymous parish resident that thinks it’s high time improvements are made to Butch Gore Park in St. Amant for the betterment of the players, coaches and fans.
The letter reads:
To the Sports Editor,
For the second time this year, Ascension Parish softball players were swinging bats at Frasch Park in Sulphur. As you may recall, this is the same park that Ascension Parish high-school teams travel to in hopes of brining home the state title. As in the true Ascension softball fashion, two tournament teams who play at Butch Gore Park in St. Amant touted great success. The 007’s 12u team brought home a second-place title, and the Hawks’ 12u team followed with third place. These girls went up against 30 teams in their age-bracket at the Jennie Finch World Series.
Ascension softball players go on to play for prestigious universities and community colleges. The journey has not been an easy one. There has been a lot of sacrifice, hard work and perseverance from these young ladies, the coaches and family supporters. Countless hours have been spent to assure the success of these girls, both on and off the field.
There are team-sponsored tournaments with participation from teams in Louisiana and Mississippi, and even as far away as Florida. A tournament at Butch Gore Park may host as many as 40 teams over a two-day period. St. Amant High School utilized the park after the flood.
The problem is the sustained conditions at the park. The anger and humiliation for us is the situation with restrooms. The women’s restroom has no ventilation or fans. Temperatures can be over 90 degrees, not including the humidity. Imagine trying to maneuver the use of the toilet when wearing softball uniforms. There are only four stalls, and two of them do not have working locks. When feeling the effects of heat, it doesn’t do a lot of good to cool down with water if the restroom is 90 degrees.
The sidewalks have become increasingly dangerous because there may be as much as five-inch drop-offs between it and the ground. Yes, this has caused injuries.
I believe the lack of action to assure the health and safety of our players and spectators needs to be addressed immediately.
The tournament generally lasts two days. The teams bring in tax revenue for the parish that far exceeds the cost to restore the park to an acceptable standard. Because these teams travel quite some distance to play, they utilize hotels, retail stores and restaurants—who benefit from the tournaments.
Yes, we would love to have a new softball park in Ascension Parish, but right now, we must fight for the health and safety of all those involved.