With the hard work and dedication Larry Mixon put into Sacred Heart’s baseball facility throughout the years, the school’s field already felt like Larry Mixon Field prior to Friday. But on that day, it was made official, as the school dedicated it to the late Crusader head baseball coach.

Family, friends and former players, along with current Crusaders, showed up for a celebration of Mixon’s impact on Sacred Heart baseball and the school itself.

“I think it’s a perfect tribute to Larry,” Sacred Heart coach Drew Dewease said. “As many hours as he put on the field and the time he spent dealing with this and getting it set up for us, I can’t think of anybody else that deserves this honor. Not just for his baseball record but for the man that he was and the impact he had on the entire school.”

Mixon passed away in late January after a second battle with cancer. Just a few days later, the Crusaders began official practices without the man many affiliated with the school call “The face of Sacred Heart baseball”.

Even today, nearly two and a half months later, no two days are the same, said Dewease.

“I think we’ve handled it a little bit better than I thought we would. But it’s still a day by day thing. I think they come out here and still expect Coach Mixon to be here working on the field sometimes.”

Coming into the season, Dewease said the Crusaders’ main goal would be to make Mixon proud with their play. At 7-9 with the playoffs in their future, the coach believes the team has done just that.

“With the way that we’ve played, I think we’ve far exceeded expectations,” Dewease said. “I think they’ve played in a way that Larry would be proud of and he would expect them to play. So I’ve been very proud with the way they’ve handled themselves with that.”

Sacred Heart will play its first home game at the newly dedicated Larry Mixon Field next Tuesday night against Sumrall. It will be the Crusaders’ Senior Night.