New Digs: Rams dedicate new softball field

Published 9:08 am Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The new Westlake High School Softball Complex hosted its first Louisiana High School Athletic Association softball game after the field was dedicated Monday, Feb. 21.

The Hudson-Reeves park is the first on-campus high school softball field with artificial turf in Calcasieu Parish.

“It’s state of the art,” said Westlake High School Assistant Principal Jason Thibodeaux. “New dugouts, new net fencing that doesn’t obstruct the view and soon-to-be completed two-story press box/concession stand and LED lighting.”

The complex was scheduled to be completed October 2021, but as with other construction projects, it was delayed by the pandemic, hurricanes and recent rains. The cement was poured last week. Bleachers are not complete.

“We’re building this plane as we fly it,” said Thibodeaux.

The field was named in memory of Clint Hudson (July 1954-April 2021) and in honor of Tommy Reeves. The two coaches led the Rams to their only state softball championship in 1992.

“He would be so appreciative, so proud,” said Reeves’ wife, Donna. “Of course, I like to think of him being here, in spirit.”

Brandon Hudson, Clint Hudson’s son, tossed out the second softball and established another “first’’ for the dedication. He did it while holding his 4-week old son, Aiden Bear Hudson.

Other firsts pointed out by Thibodeaux during the dedication include Cheryl Havard’s first year as softball coach. On the fence of the new field is the first retired female athlete’s jersey.        

It was the jersey of Christina Thornton Guarino, state MVP and one of the members of the winning ‘92 Class 3A softball team, along with Kami Clark, Crystal Culpepper, Brandy Fabacher, Michelle Grimes, Stephanie Hamilton, Janae Hardey, Raegan King, Kristen Konieczny, Terra Morris, Traci Moss, Kari Quin, Robin Rodrigue and Angela Stodder.

Thornton is the daughter of Reeves. Reeves was the principal at S.J Welsh Middle School and not on the faculty of Westlake High School.

This dedication marked the first time a field has been named in honor of someone not on the faculty, Thibodeaux said.

Combined, Hudson and Reeves served the Westlake softball program for 40 years. Hudson served from 1987 to 2017 and Reeves served from 1988 to 1993.