East Texas Baptist University hosted alumni, donors, and friends of the University at the Grand Opening Celebration for the completed Tiger Softball Clubhouse on Saturday, February 10. The event consisted of facility tours, recognition of donors, and Tiger Softball’s first home game.
“The Tiger Softball Clubhouse is a remarkable facility made possible by the rich history of ETBU Softball,” ETBU Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “We could never have built a facility like this without the generosity of our donors and supporters. Our coaches and student-athletes are excited about their new home.”
The Domus Victorium–Solus Christus…a Home for Champions–For Christ Alone campaign was launched to raise funding for a 3,000 square foot facility, featuring a locker room for 32 student-athletes, coaches’ offices, and a lounge for team study, fellowship, and discipleship. In addition to the clubhouse, ETBU upgraded Taylor Field with artificial turf and a new padded outfield wall for enhanced player safety.
“We have already seen how the Tiger Softball Clubhouse has provided more opportunities to grow closer as a team and build community,” ETBU Head Softball Coach Janae’ Shirley shared. “Our new facilities have also garnered attention from prospective students, allowing our program to continue encouraging athletes as they pursue Christ and refine their skills as softball players.”
Tiger Softball is an NCAA Division III national championship caliber program and their goal is to use their nationally-ranked team as a platform to share the Gospel of Jesus. According to spectators, the new facility is on level with Division I college facilities. The clubhouse is one of the many upgrades and renovations made to the University under the leadership of ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn.
“We want to emulate Christ in our competition, facilities, interactions, and beyond,” Dr. Blackburn said. “Every contact with our Tigers is an opportunity for them to minister and be the hands and feet of Jesus to others. The transformation that we see in and through our students as we support, shape, and mold them to fulfill their calling is the mission of our University. I am honored to be an active member of the Tiger Family.”
Tiger Athletics believes in building players that become ambassadors for Christ in their field of study. Tiger Softball alumni and current student-athletes are grateful for the support and encouragement of those who generously gave and have recognized the hard work and success of the program.
“To know that donors and alumni have provided the updated facilities is overwhelming. I appreciate how they care for ETBU,” ETBU senior Linzie Lewis shared. “Being a part of Tiger Softball has truly changed my life. I have become stronger in my relationship with God because of the coaches have helped me prepare and have perseverance. My teammates and I always have fun, no matter the circumstance, and now we have a space to feel more like a family. I hope prospective students commit to ETBU in order to experience the life-changing Tiger Softball program.”
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