The Dyersburg State Community College Jimmy Naifeh Center in Covington has been growing by leaps and bounds the past 15 years with the addition of multiple academic buildings and the Tipton County Library.
Now a big step has been taken to grow athletics.
On Friday afternoon 100 people or so gathered to celebrate breaking ground on a new soccer field that will be located on campus just north of the library.
Construction on the field is expected to begin in the spring and the pitch should be ready for action for the 2022 fall season.
“We’re all super excited to actually have our own place because we’re really big on team bonding,” freshman soccer player Evelyn Ozment said. “To have a field that we can always go on, no matter if it’s two of us or all of us working to get better, we’re excited to have our own little area … A bunch of us are big on getting our footwork in between classes and now we’ll be able to come out here and do it.”
For the last three seasons the team had been sharing a field with Covington High School that is located at Crestview Elementary School. Now the Lady Eagles will be the only team in its conference with its own field.
“That’s a big deal because it’s a really good recruiting tool,” said DSCC head coach Robert Luttrell. “I’ll use that as much as I possibly can. We never have to compete with anyone for practice time, never have to work around anything. It’s our family, our house.”
Charles Ennis, chairman of the board at Patriot Bank, spearheaded an effort for the bank to gift $100,00 toward the field, which will be named Patriot Bank Soccer Field.
Dr. Karen Bowyer said the cost of the field will be approximately $450,000 and the school is still looking for donations to offset the cost.
“It’s great to get this property more fully developed and to have an athletic team here is really important,” Bowyer said. “It’s something our students can rally around. Our young women have just been exceptional … With so many young women playing soccer I think our future is really bright.”