Southwest DeKalb High School is one of several schools in DeKalb County building a new football practice field this offseason. School officials received a $10,000 donation March 24 to help fund new bleachers at the field and to expand the field’s impact throughout the community.
Principal Thomas Glanton said the $10,000 donation from 2001 Southwest DeKalb alumni Clarence Dameon Mitchell and The Mitchell Law Practice kicked off the school’s bleacher campaign.
“Growing up in the community and seeing the commitment Southwest DeKalb’s administration has put in the school is important. My wife and I are nothing special, we just want to see better for our community,” said Mitchell. “No one who graduated from Southwest DeKalb is lacking any pride, but I hope this helps add to that.”
According to Glanton, the school’s goal is to raise $150,000 for new bleachers, lights, a scholarship fund and other upgrades, but he said the benefits they’ll bring will outweigh the cost. Wrestling coach Keith Johnson and softball coach Jerry White helped spearhead the campaign.
“[The new field] means a lot for the school. Southwest DeKalb has some of most talented athletes in the state. For many years, we’ve been able to capitalize off that talent with basic field accommodations. Now with these state-of-the-art field accommodations, I can only imagine what our student athletes can do,” said Glanton.
Even though the new field will be located on Southwest DeKalb’s campus, school officials said they have plans to turn the field into a community-wide facility.
“It’s really going to impact our community,” said Glanton. “We envision a partnership with all of our local elementary and middle schools and our parks and recreation departments. We’ll be able to extend this arm beyond our local school and to the entire southwest DeKalb community.”
Southwest DeKalb High School’s new field will also make lacrosse, track and field, girls flag football and other sports more accessible to the community, according to Glanton. He said the new field will let younger athletes—who don’t have access to necessary facilities—practice and compete.
“The community can rally around this and perhaps even see an economic impact at some point in time,” said Glanton. “Our goal is $150,000 and get these stadium style bleachers installed, but we’ll also be giving out $500 scholarships, installing lights and upgrading other athletic facilities out here.”
Updates and donation information may be found at: swdptastore.square.site.
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