It’s been an uphill journey for Hundley Campbell as he strives to help the Sexton softball program become more competitive.
The third-year Big Reds softball coach recently received a little outside help in his quest to improve the program.
Comerica Bank awarded Sexton with a $5,000 Grand Slam Grant last week that will benefit the softball team. Sexton was one of five public schools in the state honored with a grant to benefit either a baseball or softball program.
“We were in shock,” Big Reds junior pitcher Sydney Morrell said. “We were so excited and really thankful for our coach to do that and go out there and write that grant for us. We were really excited.”
Campbell said the funds can go a long way toward boosting his program. The team currently doesn’t have its own field and carpools to nearby Westside Park for games and practices. Campbell has also paid out of his pocket to send players to clinics, replace outdated equipment and provide uniforms for his team when fund raising efforts have fallen short in the past. He’s done it because of his desire to get the program going on the right track.
Quarterria Ausborn, a senior pitcher, said the team has tried its best to find a way despite its circumstances. Last week’s surprise news Ausborn said is a blessing and gives the team and Campbell less to worry about.
“It’s a big relief because he does a lot for us and our team,” freshman pitcher Danyae Pugh said. “For them to give us the money, it helps out a lot for us.”
One of the primary areas Campbell plans to use the grant money on is increasing the skill level of his players through summer clinics and camps.
“You’ve got to realize, my kids come to me and my program — they come not evening knowing the basics of softball,” Campbell said. “I have to teach them from ground zero in the ninth grade so that sets us far behind. Now it gives me an opportunity during the summer. I want to be able to send my freshman class to camp so they can start getting exposed more to softball and it will help them a lot with their skills.”