NORMAN — When Oklahoma State was given the key to the newly completed Sherman E. Smith Training Center in June, it didn’t take long for the facility to get its first use.
No, it had nothing to do with the Cowboy football program — which will be the biggest beneficiary of the new athletic center which houses an artificial surface football field. Instead, the practice facility was used by several other OSU programs that will also benefit from the new addition to the Stillwater campus.
With severe storms popping up throughout the summer, it forced several youth camps hosted by Oklahoma State teams to move inside for safety.
The first use of the facility was presented to the Cowboy baseball program, which relocated its nearly 100 campers across the street from Allie P. Reynolds Stadium to the 92,000 square foot building.
The Sherman E. Smith Training Center also served as a safe haven for the Cowgirl soccer youth camp during the recent storms in Stillwater.
“We got to take the campers inside one evening it was raining really hard and you should have seen their faces — it was jaw-dropping for a lot of those young kids to be in there,” Oklahoma State soccer coach Colin Carmichael said.
While area youth were the first athletes to play on the new field at the indoor building, it’s obvious that the new facility will go beyond just benefiting the Cowboy football program.
“We would have the ability to play a 11 v 11 scrimmage if we elected to, inside, which we’ve never had before,” Carmichael said. “It’s just hugely beneficial for us that if a storm rolls through we can still have practice.
“In years past, we had to send the kids in for a weight workout or for conditioning or just send them home. It’s just a huge bonus for us to be able to move our team indoor and still have a full team practice if we can’t get out on our game field.”