published Monday, April 14th, 2014

Soddy-Daisy to dedicate softball field to Lasley

Lady Trojan Invitational

At Soddy Lake Kids' Park

Friday's pool play

Field No. 1: East Hamilton vs. Silverdale Baptist Academy, 10:30 a.m.; Sequatchie County vs. Powell, noon; Sequatchie County vs. East Hamilton, 1:30; Silverdale vs. Powell, 3; Silverdale vs. Sequatchie County, 4:30; East Hamilton vs. Powell, 6

Field No. 2: Soddy-Daisy vs. Central, 9 a.m.; Bradley Central vs. Grace Academy, 10:30 a.m.; Meigs County vs. Central, noon; Soddy-Daisy vs. Grace Academy, 1:30; Bradley Central vs. Meigs County, 3; Central vs. Grace Academy, 4:30; Central vs. Bradley Central, 6

Field No. 3: Ooltewah vs. Hixson, 9 a.m.; Whitwell vs. GPS, 10:30 a.m.; Ooltewah vs. GPS, noon; Whitwell vs. Hixson, 1:30; Whitwell vs. Ooltewah, 3; GPS vs. Hixson, 4:30; Soddy-Daisy vs. Meigs County, 6

Field No. 4: Walker Valley vs. Rhea County, 10:30 a.m.; Arts & Sciences vs. Wilson Central, noon; Walker Valley vs. Wilson Central, 1:30; Rhea County vs. Arts & Sciences, 3; Walker Valley vs. Arts & Sciences, 4:30; Rhea County vs. Wilson Central, 6

Soddy-Daisy will honor the memory of former assistant coach Lamar Lasley by dedicating its softball facility Lamar Lasley Field between the varsity and junior varsity games April 22 when the Lady Trojans host Bradley Central at 5 p.m. Soddy-Daisy coach Wes Skiles is encouraging all former Lady Trojans players and anyone associated with the program to attend.

Lasley was 60 when he died of a heart attack May 20, 2013 -- the day Soddy-Daisy was scheduled to play in a Class AAA state sectional at Smyrna. The Lady Trojans made the trip and lost the game 4-1. Skiles, then in his first year as head coach, informed the team after the game.

Lasley spent 16 years as an assistant coach at Soddy-Daisy, most of that time working with head coach Clifford Kirk. The current softball facility was built on school grounds in 2011 and April 4 that year was named Clifford Kirk Stadium, commemorating the coach that brought Soddy-Daisy eight state titles between 1991 and 2012.

A 'Lamar Lasley Field' sign will be placed above the 'Clifford Kirk Stadium' sign atop the scoreboard behind the fence in left-center field. All but two of the 20 Lady Trojans on this year's team played for Lasley either in high school or at Loftis Middle.

"Lamar was such a selfless person," Skiles said. "He never wanted credit for anything. He just did his job."

The program will continue to honor Lasley's legacy with a Lamar Laslley Award given at its banquet each year to the team's most selfless person. The inscription will include a saying Lasley was noted for: "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit."

Rhea fighting Alzheimer's

Rhea County is scheduled to host a fundraising event Tuesday that is near and dear to Lady Eagles' coach Leah Price's heart.

Price's grandmother, Sonja Price, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2007. The coach said her grandmother lived with the disease until succumbing to it about two years ago.

For the third season Rhea County is planning an Alzheimer's disease-awareness game. Stone Memorial is the opponent. Game time is set for 6 p.m.

"She was my dad's mom," Coach Price said. "We'd go to her house every Sunday and Thursday. She had a son and two daughters. We were around her quite a bit. She was at a lot of my things. My family had the idea that we wanted to raise money for the cause and I thought, 'I've got a good opportunity as a coach.'"

Although Rhea County's school colors are green and gold, purple is Alzheimer's corresponding color and will be featured predominantly around the field Tuesday. Proceeds from the gate and T-shirt sales will be forwarded to the Alzheimer's Association.

Soddy-Daisy hosts Invitational

Soddy-Daisy will be hosting its 24th Lady Trojan Invitational this weekend at the Soddy Lake Kids' Park. A total of 17 teams are slated to participate, beginning with pool-play games on two fields Friday morning at 9.

The competition expands to four fields starting with pool-play games scheduled at 10:30 a.m. The final pool-play games are set to begin at 6 p.m.

Teams will be placed in either the Gold or Silver bracket for Saturday's single-elimination play and will be seeded based on pool records. Action is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. The Silver final is scheduled at 1:30 in the afternoon and the Gold final is set for 3.

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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