HomePlaying In OneidaJack E. Lay Sports Complex

Jack E. Lay Sports Complex

Formerly known as the Bear Creek Sports Complex, the Jack E. Lay Sports Complex is a state-of-the-art sports facility in north Oneida. The facility features regulation-size baseball and softball fields, two soccer fields, ample paved parking, concession stands, and restroom facilities.

The sports complex is the home of Oneida High School baseball and softball games, Scott County’s youth league baseball program that is administered by the Boys & Girls Club of the Cumberland Plateau, and Scott County’s youth soccer program that is administered by the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). 

Adjacent to the ballfields is a mountain biking trail built and maintained by the Big South Fork Bike Club.

Amenities

  • High school regulation baseball field with lights
  • High school regulation softball field with lights
  • Youth size baseball field
  • Youth size softball field
  • High school regulation soccer field with lights
  • Youth soccer fields
  • Playground
  • Concession facilities
  • Press box
  • Single-track dirt cycling trail

History

The Jack E. Lay Sports Complex is one of Oneida’s greatest success stories. It was built on land that had been strip-mined for coal, using mostly federal grant dollars. Today, lush, green sod covers land that was once considered useless, and the ballpark is enjoyed by hundreds of children throughout the community.

In 2003, then-Mayor Jack E. Lay initiated work on 160 acres of strip mine along Bear Creek Road. “The property was virtually useless,” long-time Oneida administrative assistant Terry Jeffers remembers. “It was an abandoned strip pit with poor water quality and acid mine drainage.”

Lay’s background was in the mining industry, as a former executive of West Coal Corporation, and he knew the ins and outs of reclaiming former strip mines. He enlisted the help of the Scott County Soil Conservation District, the Kentucky Division of Water, the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Grant applications were filled out, and work on the property began. The east side of the property was set aside for economic development, with factories built by East Tennessee Trailers and MCM Corporation. Industrial roads were built and utilities were added to the property.

The first games were played at Bear Creek in 2012, nine years after the project began. The project was also a major environmental success. When the project began in 2003, there were only two living species identified in the Bear Creek watershed. Today, that number has grown to 28.

“It was the realization of a vision,” Jeffers said. “Without the cooperation of the many divisions of the state and the dedication of the Town of Oneida, the Bear Creek property would still be a wasteland instead of one of the nicest sports facilities in Tennessee, and a place where our kids and children can enjoy and take pride in for years to come.”

A before-and-after look at Bear Creek.

 

The sun sets at Bear Creek Sports Complex.

Todd Lay, manager

400 One Industrial Park Drive
Oneida, TN 37841