Skip to content


Photo by Shari Harris
Triumph Sports, a baseball/softball training facility located two miles south of Licking, offers training and more to local athletes.

By Shari Harris, Publisher

The name says it all – “Triumph” Sports – triumph in Christ, triumph in sports, triumph in life. The baseball and softball training facility located south of Licking at the junction of Highway 63 and State Route BB offers the opportunity for all three.

Owners Cole and Megan Roark believe their baseball and softball training facility located south of Licking is a mission opportunity. Cole Roark, who is assistant baseball coach for the Licking Wildcats and a history teacher at the high school, is unable to witness and spread the gospel while working in the school system. He has no such constraints at Triumph Sports, and their Facebook page shares their associated verse, II Corinthians 2:14, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” As youth group leaders for the First Baptist Church in Licking, the Roarks even host the meetings at the facility.

The Roarks created Triumph Sports to offer the opportunity for every area boy and girl to be as good as they want to be. The training facility has been going well since the first of the year, offering a location for the Licking High School baseball and softball teams to train despite often rainy spring weather. Additionally, other area ball teams have rented the facility for training, and some individual pitching and hitting lessons have been offered as well.

The school’s baseball team used to practice in the basement of the old Rawlings factory. The ceilings were low and the lighting less than ideal, but the fickle spring weather demands an alternative to outdoor practice. Coach Roark was looking for a better location, and the remains of the John Deere dealership at the corner of Highway 63 and State Route BB, south of Licking, had potential.

After purchasing the building, the Roarks redid the ceilings, exterior and interior metal, and added a turf floor, lights and plumbing. They created a lobby, which is suitable for birthday parties, youth events, dances, celebrations, or just for parents to relax while waiting for their young athletes to train. Coach Roark hopes to see a Coaches’ Clinic held there as well, inviting college coaches to speak.

A locker room for the Wildcats baseball team was also developed, and allows space for the team to relax after practice and build rapport.

The training area is 12,000 square feet of space that can be divided into 12 individual cages, for batting or pitching, or opened up into larger areas for ground ball practice. It can be scaled for any size field, using a pitching machine or having a pitcher. A HitTrax baseball flight simulator is available and gives real-time statistics and key performance metrics, such as exit ball velocity, launch angle, distance, pitch speed, late break of pitch, strike zone analysis, spray charts and more. Profiles can be developed for individual athletes, allowing for tracking of progress and identification of strengths and weaknesses, and comparison against a national database of players at similar skill levels. These profiles can be shared with college coaches when athletes are considering moving on to that level of play.

The high school spring seasons have ended, but high school teams, some city league teams, and multiple softball groups continue to come to Triumph Sports to practice. A team can reserve four cages at the facility for 90 minutes for a fee of $50. That includes access to a pitching machine, assorted screens, baseballs/softballs and tees. The price of individual lessons may vary. Current Ohio Bobcat and former Licking Wildcat baseball standout Gideon Antle is offering hitting lessons through August 18. Check out their Facebook page, Triumph Sports Facility, for scheduling information and to see what they have to offer, or call them at (417) 331-0213.

While the training capabilities at the facility are impressive, the Roarks want it to be a safe place where youth can have fun. The First Baptist Church Youth Group enjoys dodgeball, volleyball, stickball and movies, among other things. Coach Roark hopes to host dodgeball and kickball tournaments at the facility in the future. Whatever develops, the Roarks are determined it will be a plus for the youth of the area, helping them triumph in life.

Photos by Shari Harris

Leave a Comment