Malone University has received two gifts exceeding $1 million each in support of construction of Pioneer Park, a multi-field recreation and athletic complex planned for university owned property adjacent to state Route 62 in Canton. College officials will host a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony on Monday at 2 p.m.
Canton-based DeVille Developments has donated more than $1.5 million in addition to more than 150,000 cubic feet of soil to be used for the project. Mike Thompson Sr., chairman and president of the Montrose Auto Group, has donated more than $1 million for construction of a baseball facility at the Pioneer Park location.
“We’re blessed to have extraordinary community partners in Roger DeVille and Mike Thompson Sr.,” said Malone President David King. “They are great friends of the institution, and their gifts will enhance the experience we provide for our students while serving as an asset for the greater Canton community. These individuals are investing in Malone, in our students, in our community, and their generosity is remarkable. We will ensure that they are recognized long into the future for all that they are making possible through their gifts.”
When completed, Pioneer Park will provide three new fields with lights. Two of the fields will be used for soccer, lacrosse, softball, and football as well as intramurals, club sports, and recreational activities. The third field will be a baseball field for the Division II Malone Pioneers, while also serving as a tournament site for Greater Canton area baseball teams. Malone is also part of a collaborative effort to bring a summer collegiate baseball team from the premier Prospect League and make Pioneer Park its official home. This effort is being spearheaded by Thompson and Malone Head Baseball Coach Tom Crank with the intent of making the 2018 summer the inaugural season for the new collegiate summer wood bat baseball team.
* Sam Pruett (Tusky Valley) and Jessica Laney (Fairless) are members of the Baldwin Wallace University volleyball team, under the direction of third-year head coach Scott Carter.
Picked fourth in the 2017 OAC Preseason Poll, BW finished last season with an overall record of 24-6 and a 5-4 mark in the conference.
BW opens its season in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 1-2 when it competes in the Greyhound Premier Invitational hosted by Moravian College.
COMPILED BY ROGER METZGER, Times-Reporter sports editor