Building a winner at Louisa County High School

Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

Standing at home plate at Louisa’s softball field, McNeil is just feet away from the construction site.

Standing at home plate at Louisa’s softball field, McNeil is just feet away from the construction site.

It’s when Barton Malow project administrator Brandy McNeil rises from her desk and gazes out the window of her modular unit on the campus of Louisa County High School that she sees her true office.

Involved in the construction of the new high school building since the project began in August 2013, McNeil makes her rounds each day to make sure the mission remains on schedule.

But from that same modular unit, McNeil also sees another one of her workplaces. Amidst clay paths, stacks of rebar and piles of rubble sits the school’s softball field, a symbol of normalcy in a chaotic construction site.

It’s her other home. McNeil is her first year as the assistant softball coach for Louisa County Middle school, jumping from construction to coaching daily. Sure, the campus looks a lot different than it did when McNeil graduated LCHS in 2005, but by being just footsteps away from both of her pet projects, McNeil wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m ecstatic,” McNeil said as she fixated on both of her workplaces. “I’m back in my hometown. There are workers here that I’ve known for my whole life, whether I’ve seen them in school or around the community, so it’s great to be able to work with these people…And [the field] gives students a chance to be together. It gets them outside in a positive environment.”

It’s been an interesting series of events that have joined the two separate paths of McNeil’s life. Like most athletes, McNeil thought she might have hung up the cleats for good upon graduating high school. Time passed, but McNeil still missed the front-row view she got of the action as a four-year catcher for the school’s junior varsity and varsity teams.  Even the thoughts of intense practices of then-coach Susan Sharpe elicited fond memories.

So when McNeil met up with Sharpe, who currently is the assistant coach for LCHS’s high school softball team, and was offered a chance to coach, there was little to deliberate over.

“When Susan said something to me about it, I got extremely excited,” McNeil said. “I think it not only had to do with missing the game, but I also wanted to get out onto the field and show the girls things that I had learned over the years. I get to help them grow, just as my coaches did with me over the years.”

To read the entire story, see the April 10 edition of The Central Virginian.

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