Dunson Field: Home of Legends
Published 9:16 pm Monday, January 13, 2020
Longtime residents of Troup County are familiar with Dunson Field (Pepperell Park), located on Hogansville Road behind the Troup County Division of Family and Children Services building.
The property has sat dormant for more than a decade, but that appears likely to change in the coming months.
Georgia Storm Legends, a private run youth soccer club founded by John Fuller in 2019, submitted a proposal to the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission that would allow the Legends club to renovate and utilize the complex for their soccer activities. That proposal was passed unanimously by the board at the Nov. 25th meeting.
The Legends club is an affiliate of Georgia Storm based out of Villa Rica and plays under Georgia Soccer, which is the authorized state youth and adult association for Georgia within the United States. This relationship allows the club to compete against other teams throughout the state of Georgia.
“We believe there is a whole lot more to what we are doing than wins and losses. And, it is more about personal growth for the kids and trying to develop them as human beings,” Fuller said.
Fuller approached the Parks and Recreation Commission with a plan that would not only allow the club to use the facility to practice but also allow the club to use its own funding and manpower to convert the field from a baseball complex into what Fuller describes as a mini soccer complex. In exchange, the commission would allow them first right of refusal for all games, practices and camps associated with the club.
Fuller’s proposal outlines a multitude of work that the club will perform in an effort to convert Dunson Field from its current baseball configuration to a soccer configuration. Some of those proposed renovations the club is planning will be re-roofing the grandstand area, removing the current fencing and potentially repurpose it to use around the new field configuration, upgrade the restroom facilities and grade the infield area to make the playing surface more level with a goal of having three soccer fields. Lance Dennis, Director of the Troup County Parks and Recreation Department said if the club can get done all it proposes and maintain it then he was on board. Dennis went on to say the recreation department does not have the resources to take on the financial burden of maintaining the complex so that will fall on the soccer club.
According to Dennis, there are plans to expand the Chris Joseph Track and Field complex behind Whitesville Elementary.
“My long-term goal is to expand that Chris Joseph soccer complex even more,” Dennis said.
In his long-term goals, Dennis said he would like to expand a soccer complex with a few regulation sized fields that can be used on a rental basis for private groups such as the Legends.
The agreement between the Legends and the Parks and Recreation Department would be a two-year agreement of exclusivity and the complex would be only allowed to conduct soccer activities.
“The city and county have been very gracious, and we are extremely appreciative of this opportunity,” Fuller said.
According to Fuller, this is the Legends way of giving back because not only will they have a place to call home, but the Parks and Recreation department will have another soccer complex it can use.
Fuller said for the club to be successful with this undertaking they will conduct several fundraisers and solicit corporate sponsorships throughout the year. The first club fundraiser has kicked off in the form of a 15/15 fundraiser. Each of the team members will ask 15 friends and/or family to donate $15. For more information about the Georgia Storm Legends you can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/legendssoccer.