Former coach wants Hudson honored

HAMILTON — Former Hackleburg volunteer coach Steven Hood has requested that Hackleburg’s baseball field be named in honor of Hackleburg coach Rod Hudson.
This took place during the Marion County Board of Education Meeting on Thursday, Aug. 17, at Marion County Central Office.
Hudson, who no longer is the head coach of the baseball team, currently leads the Hackleburg Panthers football team.
“He put Hackleburg on the map for baseball,” said Hood.
Hood, who was a volunteer coach in Hackleburg until from 2010-2016 stated Hudson’s behavior during the 2011 tornado made him stand out as a man.
“What I saw after the 2011 tornado is what I think sets him (apart),” said Hood.
“The character he showed and the discipline he showed with all of the kids--they were actually in a tournament when that tornado hit, and a lot of people wanted to quit. He got equipment around from schools in the area, and he went and played. They played in the spring garden and won.
“What he did, is show the community and the school, in the middle of everything that was going on, that he wasn’t going to quit,” he continued.
Hood stated, during that time, all games and practices were played away from home, speaking further to Hudson’s commitment to the team, school and community.
“I’ve heard him, multiple times tell the kids, ‘Look, you play with the hand you’re dealt, and you move forward,’” said Hood.
“I think what he instilled in the kids was that you keep moving, whether it’s life or it’s baseball.”
Hudson is no longer head coach for baseball, but Hood stated, on behalf of former coaches and players, he would like to rename the field in his honor after his achievements at the school.
“I want this board to consider renaming the baseball field to Rod Hudson Field,” Hood said.
Board member Don Jones stated the naming of the stadium is a high honor.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than to have a facility named for you. It’s great,” said Jones.
“In my opinion, Rod deserves this.”
Marion County Superintendent Ann West stated the board of education would take the matter into consideration and make a decision in a future meeting.
During the meeting, the board also:
• Approved Hunter Sanders to be placed on the Marion County Board of Equalization;
• Approved permission to renew Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools membership;
• Approved volunteers Ethan Heggy in Hackleburg High School and Brett Wakefield at Hamilton High School;
• Entered executive session over the good name and character of a former employee; and
• Approved employment of Denis Gilliam as a special education teacher at Brilliant High School, Dwaine Tucker as a janitor at Brilliant High School, Noelle Fowler as a Pre-K auxiliary teacher at Hamilton Elementary School and Candace Shipp as head girls’ basketball coach at Hamilton High School.

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