New indoor sports complex opens in Kenova

August 12, 2018

Barbie and Andrew Scites, shown with their daughter Mollie, are the owners of the ThunderDome in Kenova.

KENOVA — Andrew Scites had a decision to make. He could take property he and his wife, Barbie, owned in Kenova and develop it into an apartment building or he could construct an indoor sports complex for athletes of all ages.

“My wife and I had been talking about the indoor sports complex for the last three or four years,” Andrew Scites said last week. “Our 10-year-old daughter, Mollie, is a very good softball and basketball player. She plays on a travel softball team as well as a travel basketball team. We knew these teams and others were looking for indoor training and practice facilities, so that’s when the decision was made to create ThunderDome.”

Scites said the name of the facility came from his daughter’s travel teams.

“She plays travel basketball for West Virginia Thunder and travel softball for Mountain Thunder, so we selected the name ThunderDome,” he said.

ThunderDome, located at 1235 Maple St., offers batting cages, pitching machines and wall-towall turf for individuals, groups and teams.

“We train the beginner, the intermediate and the advanced athlete,” Scites said. “Our trainers are great. Cassie Adkins and Jessie Rowe do lots of individual training one on one and some groups, while Adam Lalonde does mostly group sessions.”

Scites said Lalonde operates USA Softball Academy inside of ThunderDome.

Lalonde was an Olympic softball player for Team USA and a professional softball player who has been working with players in the Tri-State for more than a decade. He is regarded as one of the top hitting instructors in the country.

Adkins and Rowe are both former collegiate softball players, Scites added.

“Their goal is to assist athletes in achieving their maximum potential,” he said.

The facility can accommodate just about any sport, but the girls’ softball teams are taking up most of available slots for training and practice. ThunderDome offers two-hour time slots for teams and groups, Scites said.

“We have 17 slots available and 12 have been filled already,” Scites said. “Six of them are baseball teams.”

Scites said he thinks the business fills a gap.

“There is a great need for indoor training and practice facilities like ThunderDome in the Tri-State, especially in the winter time. Many teams want to be able to practice in the winter and we can offer that to them here,” he said.

Scites added that ThunderDome is looking to offer strength and conditioning programs in the future.

“We have been open for about five weeks now and things are going great,” he said. “The growth with travel teams and leagues is huge, so we see a bright future for this facility.”

For more information about ThunderDome, call Scites at 304-417-1181 or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Thunder-Dome-Softball-Facility-268938357169355/?- fref=tag.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter at @FredPaceHD.

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