Practice is Where?


Riley Patton

Early morning sunlight illuminates the construction project on the football field.

As of today, the soccer field has become a piece of prized land, with practices for the football team, soccer team, and marching band trying desperately to find enough space to practice. Softball practices at West Jeff Middle School, and sometimes farther away than that. Why are the teams vying over one field and not practicing on their own fields?


At the end of the 2018-19 school year, the tennis courts were temporarily unusable; they were renovated and made anew, with improved courts and nets, allowing the tennis teams to play on a new, safe surface. However, lower-priority jobs were also on the list, and once the tennis courts were finished, the new priority was to revitalize the football, baseball, and softball fields.


Construction began in early June, with the destruction of each of the fields and tearing up the topsoil. 


Things were looking up! Except, production suddenly came to a halt in mid-July and stayed that way until late August, where the gears started turning slowly.


“They ran into issues at the start of summer with the amount of moisture that we were getting. Everyday that  we had moisture, it delayed the completion date by 1 to 2 days,” Facility Manager, Gene Smith, said.


Under the football field stands, the unkempt weeds have grown taller than the stands themselves. 


“I think the situation we’ve reached at this point is doable at the very least. Like I said, it’s not ideal, this is just kinda what we’re dealing with. Fields gotta get redone at some point I guess,” senior Drum Major, Jamie Armstrong, said.


Athletes aren’t the only ones feeling the backlash of the revitalization of the fields. The equipment needed for the project is taking up an entire third of the junior parking lot. Accommodations, such as adding a temporary ramp from one side of the lot to the other and extending the upper lot for students who have lost their spaces, have been made, but that still doesn’t keep the students from getting annoyed.


“They haven’t given me a timeline for when the construction will be done.  We’re getting together with advisory in the next week or so,” Principal Wesley Paxton said.