Hattiesburg High School athletic coordinator Tony Vance calls the Tigers’ new indoor practice facility adjacent to Smokie Harrington Park the “No Excuse Facility”.
“Regardless of the storms, the rain, the snow or the ice—the little bit we get sometimes here in south Mississippi—our student-athletes have a place to go and work and get better,” he said.
“We have no excuse not to get better.”
The building, along with the school’s new weight room, was introduced to the public Tuesday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Vance says the project had been in the works since the 2013 Hattiesburg tornado.
“To finally see it come full circle, we’re blessed and honored and glad to be a part of it,” Vance said. “I would be remised if I didn’t give credit to Dr. [Cheyenne] Trussell, who had a vision for this thing as athletic director. He did an awesome job of setting the stage and platform. We’re just fortunate to be here and build upon his vision.”
Vance’s football Tigers, as well as the school’s soccer teams, will utilize the building when needed, but it will primarily serve as a hitting facility for Hattiesburg’s baseball and softball teams. The new weight room, however, will serve all student-athletes at Hattiesburg High School.
“It’s a huge day for our athletic department,” Vance added. “It wouldn’t be possible without our school board members, our superintendent, our mayor, our board of supervisors, and city council. Everybody played a role in making today possible. Our kids deserve it, our student-athletes deserve it. We feel like now we have some of the best facilities in not just Hattiesburg but throughout the state, and that’s what it’s all about. We wanna make sure our kids have a level playing field when it comes to all of our sports.”