Newly turfed field unveiled before Cyclones home opener

Published 3:14 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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The field at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark joined several other local baseball venues as a new turf field was unveiled prior to the baseball game between the Elizabethton Cyclones and the Unicoi County Blue Devils.

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A ribbon cutting was held prior to the game as members of the Elizabethton City Council, Boyd Sports, Elizabethton School System, Northeast Community Credit Union, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, and coaches and school mascots stood behind the ribbon that was cut by Mayor Pro-Tem Bill Carter and Elizabethton Director of Schools Richard VanHuss.


Elizabethton High School Junior Naval Cadet Corps presented the colors as the National Anthem was performed by the mixed ensemble of the choral department from Elizabethton High School.


Dr. Jon Minton presented Mrs. Debbie Gouge, director of the school’s choral department, a Cyclones baseball jersey commemorating the 37 years of service the beloved choral director has given to the school. Gouge plans on retiring at the end of the current school year.


A special moment came with the throwing of the first pitch as the family of David McQueen each tossed a baseball to an awaiting Cyclone player.


McQueen, an Elizabethton Parks and Recreation employee, was a mainstay at the field for many years overseeing the field during the years of the Elizabethton Twins as well as the Cyclones playing on the old dirt and grass infield.


He recently lost his battle with cancer. McQueen’s wife, Shelby, along with his daughters, Axie Craft, Cat Finney and Izzy McQueen, were recognized.


The Cyclones made the best of day as they gained an early-season split with one of their biggest rivals as they downed the visiting Blue Devils 2-1 in a tight affair.