clear
Tuesday May 31st, 2016 10:25AM

GHS softball ready to establish new traditions on revitalized field

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
GAINESVILLE -- Roger Parham took over Gainesville High softball with the understanding that the Lady Red Elephants needed some tangible positives.<br /> <br /> On Thursday, Gainesville's softball team will feel a huge positive under its very own feet.<br /> <br /> Thanks to the work of the city system, the long-dormant diamond located on the high school's own campus will play host to its first ever softball contest -- and first competition of any kind since 1985 -- when the Lady Red Elephants take on West Hall at 5:55 p.m.<br /> <br /> "This will give the girls something to hang their hat on," said Parham, who took over the Lady Red Elephants program this spring after 25 years spent in Gwinnett County -- a stint that brought state championships in 1997 at South Gwinnett and 2008 at Mill Creek (his 2011 Mill Creek team also finished as state runner-up). "Gainesville is proud of its traditions in all sports, and we're trying to establish that for softball. And I think this will be a big piece of that."<br /> <br /> Parham -- who actually competed on the field during his high school baseball career, taking on Gainesville while playing for South Gwinnett in 1983 -- immediately saw the field's potential once taking over the program.<br /> <br /> Gainesville fastpitch had played all of its contests at Lanier Point Park, and, while Parham had nothing but positive comments for the park facilities, the new coach felt a new home could prove beneficial.<br /> <br /> "I talked with (Gainesville athletic director) Wayne Vickery and saw that as a vision and knew that if we could get softball on our campus it would make a big statement about the direction of the program," Parham said. "Lanier Point did a wonderful job hosting us, but I felt this could be a big step in re-energizing the program.<br /> <br /> "The field looks unbelievable, and David Presnell and Adrian Niles have done a wonderful job to improve this facility."<br /> <br /> The Lady Red Elephants hope to ride the positive energy to bigger things and have already benefited from Parham's experience, opening the 2014 campaign with three wins.<br /> <br /> "I think the most ever wins these girls have had in a season is nine; they're great kids, and they work hard, and they're ready for something better," Parham said. "I knew this would be a challenge, but I was intrigued by the opportunity and I'm really excited to be here."<br /> <br /> Parham says the rebuilding process has gone far beyond new sod and a fresh coat of paint.<br /> <br /> "We've worked a lot on fundamentals, and it's all part of a process," Parham said. "Our goal is to start playing better programs, but we have to improve to get to that point. We're seeing progress, but, again, it's all part of a process."<br /> <br /> It's a process that will take a big step forward come Thursday.<br /> <br /> <b>NOTE:</b> Admission is free for Thursday's contest.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Sports
Column: NFL version of 3-card monte: the Super Bowl Scam
The NFL has its own version of three-card monte...
By The Associated Press
11:54PM ( 10 hours ago )
Mallex Smith's 3-run triple powers Braves past Giants, 5-3
Mike Foltynewicz is showing he can be more than just a fastball pitcher — and that he can be part of the Braves' long-term rotation.
By The Associated Press
11:51PM ( 10 hours ago )
Baylor hires former Wake coach Grobe to replace Briles
Baylor has hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe to replace Art Briles and lead its football program through a tumultuous time
6:14PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Source: Baylor will hire former Wake coach Grobe
A person involved in the decision tells The Associated Press that Baylor will hire former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe to lead its football program this season
4:38PM ( 17 hours ago )
Truex seeking bigger things after Charlotte romp
Truex says his dominating win at the Coca-Cola 600 is just the tip of what team can achieve
12:09PM ( 22 hours ago )