Throughout many years of sporting events, Leesville’s fields and sports apparel have taken a lot cleats, balls, and tackles to the “face”. While we applaud the toughness of each of our athletes, some areas around the campus can no longer withstand the heat of the teams.
During this men’s tennis season, the home courts the boys were supposed to compete and practice on were deemed unplayable by Wake County. This is due to several maintenance problems found on the courts. There are cracks,breaks, various water damaged areas found throughout the courts.
The team has been relocated to play at Springdale Pool and Racquet club for practices as well as any home matches they had scheduled. “I’d say the word that best describes not being able to play at home is inconvenient because everyday after school, having to rush up to the parking lot in order to beat traffic so my teammates and myself can get to the Springdale courts in time for practice. If we cannot get to the courts by 2:45, when practice is scheduled to start, it gives us less playing which isn’t beneficially for our team,” said Benton Hounshell, a sophomore.
The causes of these damages are most likely the fate in time but could also be related to other situations. During gym, classes are taken to the tennis courts for their required lessons in tennis. Being uneducated of the sport, many students treat the equipment wrong and end up damaging school property without knowing. Of course, it takes more than one slammed tennis racquet to crack a court, but hundreds of slammed racquets might cause more damage. As well, these tennis courts are made to withstand the most physical of activity but some things are impossible. Because our courts are stationed on the plateau of a hill they are slightly slanted. The constant pull of the ground underneath pulls the courts apart from each other.
In order for these courts to be repaired, they will have to be dug up and completely redone. A large amount of money will be used to repair the courts and make them playable again. If the process for the repairs does not begin soon the damage to the tennis courts will only get worse, resulting in having to spend more money.
Not only are the Leesville tennis courts falling apart, but recently the fields have sprung a leak. A pipe running through the field has popped. This water that is supposed to be led to another destination has found a home in the grass of the field making the area swampy and smelly for the athletes. While we all know Coach Dink and Coach Cade have nothing against a little extra mud, the excess water is a hazardous problem for the environment and a dangerous problem for the school.
Spring sports season being in full swing, this leaked pipe causes a big issue for other schools, too. When competing teams come to Leesville to play, they have to deal with the broken pipe. Athletic director, Jack Rodgers, prepares for each game by filling the hole from the leak as a temporary fix to the problem.
With constant water running through the fields it causes the soil and grass to become waterlogged and unhealthy. This will eventually lead to dead grass and fields that are unplayable for teams. Like said earlier, not only are the sports fields and equipments used for the teams but also for the gym classes. Each class will have to find another way they can practice each objective they are being taught, inconveniencing the teacher and the students learning environments.
A leaking pipe can cost hundreds of dollars to repair in itself but along with the damaging side effects, such as dead grass, holes in the ground, etc, the price raises greatly.
Many athletes and administrators are concerned for the well being of their athletic program. In order to save the boosters money, fundraising money can be used to help with the needed fixes. Athletic fundraising and different events can be held in order to raise money. Help from the Leesville community will not only pay for the courts and the pipe but it can also go towards new equipment and apparel for the teams.
Recently, the women’s and men’s lacrosse team bought new uniforms and new lacrosse goals. While these teams look good while they play, their practice and game fields don’t do the same. Because lacrosse gear includes cleats a flawless field isn’t expected but one that is more grass than sand is. Right now the players are being forced to play through sand storms kicked up in their faces with no way to avoid it.
Word has been going around that after the courts are dug up they will be relocated. If these courts are relocated to a flat area that will prevent further cracks, other areas that athletes play will be taken away. Moving the tennis courts means the space they took up will need to be made into a grassy field for soccer players, lacrosse players, and gym students. Of course, always wanting to be an efficient team, this might mean that both the sand practice field will be fixed as well.
All in all, Leesville’s sports teams have made it very far from the beginning, and it’s time for their athletic venues to keep up.