Jeff and Shawna Laughlin of West Liberty are giving $10,000 to the West Liberty School District athletic complex.
The young couple, and parents to three boys, Caden (16), Ryan (13) and Jackson (6), in the district, are pledging money to help fund the new home baseball bullpen.
“The new home baseball bullpen will be a nice addition when we build the stadium for several reasons,” said Activities Director, Adam Loria. “We will have three rubbers and plates so kids can get more reps at practice. Currently we have two and only one is really useable. The new bullpen will also be up against the right field fence and enclosed. Currently, people can sit between the bullpens and foul line fence so there are a lot of distractions. The current bullpens are also open, and the new ones will be fenced in with gated access from the fields. These are all little things that add up to big improvements and I can’t thank the Laughlins enough for helping get this done.”
In addition to being West Liberty graduates and having three boys in the district, Jeff also serves on the School Board. He is part of the Building and Grounds Committee and said he is excited to finally see this project coming together.
“We have been talking about this for a long time,” Jeff said. “Relocating all the athletic facilities to the high school campus has been part of the long-term strategy for over 16 years. I am so pleased to see Adam taking the bull by the horns and getting this done for our students.”
Superintendent Shaun Kruger said the School Board has been very supportive of the infrastructure plans.
“The school board has made my transition as a new superintendent very easy,” said Kruger. “Jeff is great to work with, he’s always at the meetings, and he’s been on board with this from day one. I’m very grateful for the financial support from the Laughlin family.”
Jeff and Shawna have been very active with youth sports over the years with Jeff serving on the Comet Baseball Club board and Shawna helping with the Youth Sports Foundation. They understand the importance of developing good feeder programs and how much this new complex will impact the community.
“Although I’m sad to see the ball fields leave my neighborhood, I’m excited to see the new facilities in a centralized location,” Shawna said. “The support of area businesses and families has been amazing. It shows how much pride there is in the Comet community.”