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Home of champions: Red Elephants celebrate title seasons at memorable ballpark
Longtime Gainesville High sports announcer Walt Snelling waves to the crowd Friday evening during a ceremony honoring the 30th anniversary of Ivey-Watson Field and the 1996 Gainesville High baseball team.

Ivey-Watson Field has been a home for champions to Gainesville High school baseball teams for three decades, and the school honored both in a ceremony Friday.

Members of the field’s first championship squad from 1996 were celebrated on the 20th anniversary of their state title on their home field, which marks its 30th year.

That squad was just the first of five state championship teams for the Red Elephants in ’96, ’97, ’98, 2001 and 2002. GHS teams reached the state semifinals 12 times in those 30 years and has won 19 region titles.

Team members were recognized before this year’s Gainesville team faced Lanier High. Also saluted for their contributions were former coach Wayne Vickery, who led the five title teams, longtime announcer Walt Snelling and lifelong Red Elephants booster George Groover.

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