Bring in the Blue Beast

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By Chris Cannon

JACKSBORO—Brown-Archer Field — Campbell County High School’s baseball field — will soon be getting a facelift.

Coaches Brian Miracle and Chris Mayes have plans to build a new “Blue Beast” — a 7-foot blue fence with a 14-foot hitter’s eye in center field.

“It’s pretty exciting,” first-year head coach Chris Mayes said. “I can’t say enough about how it’s going to make the field look so much better. Looks-wise, it’ll bring it up to competition with a lot of high school fields around.”

The new fence will be blue tin with yellow trim around the top.

“I think it’s always exciting to upgrade facilities,” Miracle said. “We’ve always had good facilities, but we’re just adding to the greatness of our facilities and our field. It’s exciting to do something new to the field. It’s been a few years since anything was updated. It’s always good to see updates happen.”

Miracle said the color selection was to go along with the tin color that is already on top of the dugouts at the field.

“I know some parks have hunter green, but just to make it match, it would look better to have a blue on there,” Miracle said. “It won’t be exactly royal blue, but it’ll match our dugouts.”

Mayes — who accepted the Campbell County coaching position last Monday — was surprised to see the project already in motion when he took over.

“To be honest with you, when Brian told me about it, I was pleasantly surprised,” Mayes said. “Brian’s put a lot of hard work into it, and he should certainly get the credit. I’m proud of him for taking the initiative to do this. This is something that is not an easy undertaking. It requires a lot of patience and a lot of phone calls with people. I surely appreciate the time that he’s put into it.”

Both coaches agreed the 14-foot hitter’s eye will be a welcome addition.

The sections will run from light pole to light pole in the center field portion of the field.

“I think the batter’s eye will really help,” Mayes said.

That blue section of field will help batters be able to pick up the ball quicker coming out of the pitcher’s hand.

With the fence now, mountains, trees, grass and other objects can be seen over the fence, sometimes hindering a batter’s view.

“With a shorter fence, a batter can unfortunately see behind the fence,” Mayes said. “When the pitcher’s arm comes out of that — I call it trash back there — the ball can sometimes get hidden. When the leaves were off the trees on the mountain, it made it hard to see the ball.”

Miracle said it was going to help more than just the Cougars, though.

“It’s going to help us and the other team,” he said. “The hitter’s eye is just a great tool and a great feature. That can help you as a hitter. It helps you to pick up the ball quicker when it’s coming out of the pitcher’s hand. It can only help the hitter.”

The project is set to begin within the next two weeks.

Both coaches hope the new additions will help propel Campbell County’s baseball field back into one of the premier fields in the state.

“I think it’s just part of the process of getting better,” Miracle said. “Farragut — we were above Farragut in field for years. They have that type of wall now. Other parks in our district have those. Anderson County had a great field, and they have a wall now. It’s kind of a key feature to the park, and that’s what we’re hoping. We’re hoping to bring back the prestige of the park that we’re blessed with.”