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District looks to add new athletic fields campus


By Abby Bagby, Co-Sports Editor

With the recent renovations to the schoolhouse, the district is now looking to expand another area  — the athletic facilities.

While the school board has not yet held the vote to confirm the expansion plan, the potential options for athletic additions were released. They include a new softball diamond and two rectangular turf fields, set to be built on land acquired by the district from Doyle and McDonnell Nursery. The primary goals of the renovations are to increase the number of athletic teams using onsite fields, lessen the amount of practices held late in the evening, and allow the field space to meet increased school enrollment. Athletic Director Kevin Pechin believes that the additional fields are necessary and beneficial for numerous sports.

“I think the rectangular fields are like the Swiss Army knife of all athletic fields, because they can be lined for basically every field that we need. We also are including the softball field — softball, right now, is our only varsity field team that is renting a grass field,” Pechin said. “So getting the softball diamond up here was really top of the list, and then working the other fields in amongst that softball diamond.”

Junior Ella Bass feels that the addition of the softball diamond is needed to provide the softball program with an opportunity equal to that of the baseball program.

“I would rather have practice at the school just for convenience, but also, the baseball team has a school field — JV (baseball) doesn’t, but that’s like equating women’s sports to JV boys sports, (which is) pretty frustrating,” Bass said.

Head field hockey coach Regan Marscher states that the added fields, and therefore earlier practice times, would be of benefit to the mental health of many student-athletes due to a more balanced extracurricular schedule.

“I think it’s really important to address that if our athletes are coming home earlier, they have more time to connect with their families. They can potentially sit down and have a meal. Right now, we’re asking them to go home, get some homework in, (and) come back to school from 6-7:30. It’s a mess,” Marscher said.

Head lacrosse coach Amy Orcutt believes that additional fields are vital for the program, as the JVB team had several practices cancelled due to a lack of practice space for the varsity and JVA teams.

“It’s not fair to the kids in our JVB program that they don’t get the opportunity to practice and play as much as the varsity and JVA,” Orcutt said. “So I feel very strongly as a coach to have them have the same opportunity as everybody else in our program, and that is why we need more fields.”

Pechin hopes that new, onsite fields will add a lively environment to the teams and the school. He feels that the presence of various sports, all having the opportunity to run practice at the same time, will have a positive impact on the overall athletic program.

“Gosh, I can’t wait till a beautiful fall day, where we have field hockey, soccer, football, all going at the same time — a beautiful Saturday, where we can have everybody here, and you can sort of pick and choose the activity that you want to go to. And it’s all onsite,” Pechin said. “It’s just gonna be a great feel. You know, when you have something that’s onsite and everyone can be here, it just creates a great atmosphere.”

Abby Bagby can be reached at [email protected].

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