Here#039;s to #8220cheers and jeers#8221; in Butler County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2007

Recently on The Greenville Advocate editorial page, a &#8220cheers and jeers” format has been used where people are either cheered for their good deeds or jeered for their bad deeds.

This week, I have taken that idea and applied it to the Butler County sports world to recognize those who are worth cheering for and those who should be jeered.

Cheers: To Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney for his non-stop approach to making the Butler County Schools athletic facilities the best they can be.

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Since his arrival, Looney has worked hand-in-hand with the coaches in the county to ensure Butler County's athletes have the best facilities possible.

Looney has overseen the renovation of restrooms at McKenzie, painting the gym at Georgiana, construction work at Georgiana's Harmon Field and he is currently working with Greenville High School head football coach and athletic director Bryant Vincent to build an indoor practice facility that would alleviate so many of the Tigers' athletic woes.

A plan is also in the works to build an entire athletic complex at Greenville High School, consisting of a football field, fieldhouse, baseball field, softball field, tennis courts and a track.

Although much has been done, much more is still needed.

But with a man like Looney in charge, anything is possible.

Cheers: To Greenville head football coach and athletic director Bryant Vincent for his commitment to Greenville High School and his vision for the future.

Following last year's memorable 10-3 season, many people thought Vincent would bolt for another opportunity.

They were wrong.

Vincent has pledged his commitment to Greenville High and he is tirelessly working to ensure Greenville's athletic facilities will soon be on par, if not better, than most Class 5A schools.

Although he is most recognized as a football coach, Vincent's performance as an athletic director has been just as successful and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Cheers: To Fort Dale Academy athletic director Reggie Mantooth and headmaster David Brantley for their determination to have on-campus baseball and softball facilities.

There was much talk in the fall about baseball and softball fields coming to Fort Dale, but the talk died down as the football season came to a close.

Recently, I had a chance to speak with both men and the possibility of fields being built is closer than you think.

The land is there to build the fields, it just has to be purchased first.

With the support of the Eagle parents and boosters (who support their team as much as any, public or private, group in the state), these fields will be built.

And thank goodness because with the crowded schedule at Beeland Park, the need has never been greater.

Jeers: To those who have stood in opposition to the recent sales tax increases in Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie for not caring enough about the educational, and athletic, future of our young ones.

It is true a sales tax is a regressive tax that hits the poorest the hardest, but was there any other way to raise the money to upgrade our facilities to where they need to be?

The answer is simple: NO!

If you want anything if life, you are going to have to pay for it and work hard for it.

That is exactly what our county leaders are doing and as members of this community it should be our mission to ensure the kids of today have everything they need to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor and can be reached by phone at 334-382-3111 ext. 122, by fax at 334-382-7104 or by e-mail at