It’s hard for me to ignore the biggest sports gossip in Hampshire County over the past week, therefore, let me express my thoughts on the current status of the rubberized track and field turf proposal at Hampshire High. First off, let’s agree on the current situation.
- is outdated
- is inefficient
- enhances the likelihood of injury
- draws low attendance
According to Trojan Track Coach Megan Fuller, the current asphalt track was first paved in early 1983.
In sports terms that’s before
· Doug Flutie won the Heisman Trophy
· The Chicago Bulls selected Michael Jordan
· Wayne Gretzky won a Stanley Cup
· Mary Lou Retton won a gold medal
· The Chicago Bears did the Super Bowl Shuffle
· Mike Tyson became the heavyweight champion
(For those of you reading this column online, ask your dad about some of these iconic sports names of the 1980s.)
Needless to say, this track is ancient.
Having worked in Mineral County prior to joining the Hampshire Review, I gained extensive knowledge of track and field stadium upgrades with the construction and aftermath of Alumni Field at Keyser High School. Certainly we can look to our neighbors from the northwest and learn from their mistakes and right decisions.
In addition to my real life experience, my education background includes research papers that focused on facility upgrades in athletics while obtaining my masters degree in Sports Management at Indiana University. Rumor has it; my name was even scribbled on a List written by some guy named Dean at the conclusion of my final semester. (non-humble brag).
As a connoisseur of all things sports, I am eager for the specific details of the plan to be unveiled. However, until the plan is placed firmly in the palms of my hands, I am going to refrain from declaring my opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal.
With that said, an opportunity like this rarely lands on the doorstep of rural schools like Hampshire High.
There are many benefits to upgrading facilities including school pride, increased ticket sales, increased event usage, increased revenue from hosting major events (track meets, etc.), increased attendance at games, increased business at local stores, and an increase in interest in Hampshire High.
Things I would like to see included in the proposal
o Stream events via Gamecast or video stream.
o Sideline technology, via tablet & cell phone
o Safety, access medical records etc. via app
o Public availability for walking/jogging
o Youth organizations like Mini-T’s or AYSO
o Hosting events (Hypothetical Example: The Evan Staley Kicking Camp)
o Graduation ceremonies, award banquets, band competitions, etc.
Although obvious, the community benefits the most when an investment is fully understood and each dollar is maximized.