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ETBU Celebrates the Dedication of Jason Bell Park, Home of Tiger Softball

April 5, 2023

East Texas Baptist University President Dr. J Blair Blackburn and the Tiger Athletic Department honored Jason Bell and his family Saturday, April 1, with the dedication of Jason Bell Park at Taylor Field, home to the ETBU Tiger Softball Team.

“We are grateful to celebrate the generosity and leadership of Jason Bell, Becca Bell, and their children,” ETBU President Dr. J. Blair Blackburn said. “ETBU has been blessed to have Jason as a part of our Board of Trustees, where he has also served on the Executive Leadership Committee. Jason has been a valuable partner in building athletic facilities at ETBU, including Ornelas Stadium, which is home to Tiger Football; ETBU Tiger Ballpark, where our Baseball team plays; and most importantly, today for East Texas Baptist Softball, Jason Bell Park at Taylor Field. Jason and Symmetry Sports Construction build facilities across the nation for some of the top professional, NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III, and high school athletic programs. We are thankful to be one of those shining stars among Symmetry’s sports facilities.”

Bell, the owner of Symmetry Sports Construction, has generously assisted in the construction and installation of artificial turf at ETBU’s Baseball, Football, and Softball fields. He serves on the ETBU Board of Trustees and traveled with the ETBU Baseball Team in 2017 to the Dominican Republic for their first international sports ministry trip as part of the Tiger Athletic Mission Experience (TAME). 

“Thank you to my dear friends, Dr. Blackburn, Ryan Erwin, and Coach Shirley, I appreciate the recognition today,” Jason Bell said. “It's a tremendous honor to have my name on this stadium and for it to be able to honor my family. I'd like to thank God for helping me to realize that I'm a failure on Earth without His love and grace. I'm grateful for the way He's equipped me to go out and do Kingdom work. Although I don't feel at all worthy or deserving of this, I'm very honored and appreciative. Dr. Blackburn, the decision to name this stadium after me and my family is a bold proclamation of the faith that you have in me, and I commit to living a life worthy of His calling and of my association with ETBU.”

The dedication took place prior to the Tiger Softball team’s series finale with McMurry University. Bell was joined by his family on the field for remarks from President Blackburn and Head Softball Coach Janae Shirley. Bell also spoke of his appreciation to God and ETBU for the opportunity, followed by a prayer over the team and the facility by Vice President for Athletics and Student Engagement Ryan Erwin. Bell’s daughter, Chaney, completed the stadium dedication by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

“We are grateful to Jason Bell for his continued support of ETBU and Tiger Athletics. We are excited to name the ETBU Softball facility, Jason Bell Park at Taylor Field,” Erwin said. “Jason’s generosity to ETBU has allowed Tiger Athletics to continue to improve many of our athletic facilities, which enables our coaches to recruit top-quality student-athletes who desire to compete for championships in a Christ-centered environment. ETBU is blessed to have some of the finest athletic facilities in all of NCAA Division III, and that is a credit to Jason Bell and many of our other donors who have generously partnered with ETBU over the years.”

In 2008, Bell began his career in the artificial turf industry with Sportexe Construction, later known as Shaw Sports Turf. He successfully streamlined operations and improved efficiency while managing projects, from beginning to end, across the United States and Canada. Compelled by a desire to glorify Christ, Bell’s faith led him to launch a turf installation company called Symmetry Sports in May 2010, where he serves as CEO. Symmetry has become a turn-key builder, constructing all things sports, having built seven NFL fields and dozens of top NCAA and high school facilities across the country.

“This is such a special moment for our program, and I am thankful for the opportunity to honor Jason and his family,” Shirley said. “This ballpark and these facilities that Jason and his team have helped us build across athletics have made a great impact on our University. We appreciate everything that Jason and Symmetry Sports Construction has done for us, and we are honored to celebrate him, his family, and his company.”

Jason Bell Park at Taylor Field was named 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA Division III Field of the Year, and is home to the 2023 NCAA Division III National Championship May 31 – June 7. Over the last 10 years, the facility has hosted numerous NCAA postseason events, area high school playoff games, and showcase tournaments.