A few local high schools have upgraded their football facilities over the summer.

The most extensive change is at Deshler High School, where a turf field has been set at Howard Chappell Stadium is nearly complete. The track surrounding the field has been torn up and is still dirt for now.

As of Sunday, many of the numbers to mark off 10-yard segments had been placed, and the old English “D” Deshler uses was in place at midfield.

Heavy rain has caused frequent problems over the years at the stadium, which sits in a low-lying area, and the field flooded again in February. The new turf field is part of a larger project designed to keep water from pooling on the playing surface.

The field is expected to be ready for Deshler’s first home game Aug. 30 against Russellville.

• At Sheffield, new bleachers are in place on the visiting team’s side of Walton Wright Stadium. The new grandstand is smaller than the previous one, but with this grandstand there is no gap between the stands and the ground below.

Coach David Hufstedler said the home stands were recently pressure-watched and will soon be re-painted. Sheffield’s first home game is Aug. 30 against Mars Hill.

• At Mars Hill, a new press box was installed Wednesday and a new brick ticket booth on the west side of the field is under construction. The team posted a picture on Facebook of the press box being lowered into place in one piece from a crane.

It’s the continuation of change at the Mars Hill field, as the school installed turf before last season. Mars Hill’s first home game is Sept. 13 against Phillips.

Recruiting updates

Several Shoals-area athletes have received scholarship offers over the summer. If you know of an athlete who should be included here but hasn’t been, please email craig.thomas@timesdaily.com.

• Florence senior Dee Beckwith, a football player who can play multiple positions, received an offer from Florida on Aug. 1.

Beckwith also has offers to play football from Auburn, Florida Atlantic, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, South Alabama, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Troy, UAB and West Virginia. He also said he has a few basketball scholarship offers.

• Mars Hill lineman Mack McCluskey has received numerous offers this summer from places including Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Mercer, North Alabama, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Virginia Military Institute and UT Martin.

• Muscle Shoals defensive back Javar Strong has offers from Arkansas State, Memphis, Nebraska, Tennessee Tech and Western Kentucky. Jacob Peters, another Trojan defensive back, has offers from Coastal Carolina, UNA and Tennessee State.

Muscle Shoals running back Keevon Hankins has an offer from Mercer, and defensive back Caleb McDougle has offers from Birmingham Southern, Centre and Faulkner.

• In basketball, Phillips senior forward Ally McCollum earned offers Thursday from Shorter and Montevallo.

• Deshler senior Sawyer Wright, a 6-8 post, earned an offer recently from the University of Dallas.

Coaching changes

• Belgreen has made a couple coaching changes over the summer, hiring Marty Cooper to take over boys basketball from Clint Isbell. Susie Tverberg left Tharptown to take the softball job at Belgreen. She takes over a Bulldog team that made the state tournament last year under John Smith, who now coaches at Florence.

• Russellville softball is now coached by Josh Graham. He took over for Kathryn Montgomery.

Contact Craig at Craig.Thomas@TimesDaily.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TD_CraigThomas

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