This past Saturday, the renewed Jennings County High School Softball and Baseball fields were officially dedicated. In late April 2018, the Jennings County School Corporation Board of School Trustees voted unanimously to hire engineering firm Woolpert to create an Athletic Complex master plan to include new baseball, softball, tennis, and wrestling facilities, as well as an entry plaza. Wool pert then contracted locally owned Bradshaw Building Specialists to complete Phase 1 of the plan in the spring of 2020, which included the outstanding new softball and baseball complexes. These improvements included new dugouts and press boxes, as well as turf infields, and that is only naming a few of the many improvements made that make the athletic complex at Jennings County High School well above par.
During the softball dedication, two legendary JCHS softball coaches were honored. The first was Ms. Karen Schneider. Ms. Schneider was the first Jennings County High School softball coach. During her ten seasons of head coaching, the team won nine consecutive sectional titles, won four regional titles, appearing in the Final 8 each of those years. Schneider had 155-61 record coaching at JCHS, and has been a respected elementary physical education teacher within the corporation for nearly 40 years. Also recognized was Mr. Kendall Wildey. Wildey had three different stints as the head coach of the Lady Panthers, with an overall record of 235-105. During this time, his teams claimed five sectional championships, two regional championships, and two Final Four appearances. He was twice named the District Coach of the Year. Wildey also spent nine seasons coaching the JCHS boy’s basketball team and is a member of the JCHS Alumni Hall of Fame.
The baseball program also honored two of their legendary coaches. The first honoree was Mr. Don Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder was the head coach for eleven seasons, compiling 177-74 overall record. With Jennings County, he won four Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference championships and three Hoosier Hills Conference championships. He won sectional titles in ’70, ’74, and ’75, and won the regional title in 1974. He was named the conference coach of the year for seven of his eleven seasons at JCHS. Schroeder was also a very successful JCHS Basketball coach. The other honoree was Mr. Bob Howe. Mr. Howe was the head baseball coach for 22 seasons, compiling a 420-269 record. Howe won seven sectional titles, and also a regional title in 1985. Also in 1985, Howe was selected as the Indiana South All-Star Team Coach. Howe took pride in keeping his playing field in amazing condition. Like Schroeder before him, Howe also had a successful career as the JCHS Basketball Coach.
Also in attendance for the field dedication were JCHS Principal Dustin Roller, JCSC Superintendent Teresa Brown, and JC School Board Members Tony Daeger, Earl Taggert, Chelsea Morrison, and JC School Board President Pat Sullivan.