MY ANGLE: We have to fix our sports fields

The Country Day outdoor sports facilities have been in a sorry state for years. Covered in gopher holes, the soccer and baseball fields barely have grass, and the track and batting cages are in shambles. Different teams interfere with each others’ practices, and the fields are prone to causing injuries.

While the Country Day track team has gotten permission to practice at Cordova High School for the 2022 season, they spend weeks practicing on campus.

During this time, the track team had to negotiate conflicts with high school baseball, high school girls soccer, and co-ed middle school — all of whom needed the field as well.

Track team members have also reported multiple twisted ankles on the soccer field, causing concerns about field safety.

The fields are maintained exclusively by coaches and teachers, which is difficult and unsustainable. The batting cage is overgrown with weeds and has wood and nets that are falling apart.

There’s a simple solution: the baseball team should begin practicing at Mather Sports Complex in Rancho Cordova, which, after all, is the team’s home field for league games. The track and field, tennis and swimming teams successfully practice off-campus, so why not add baseball to that list?

If the baseball team practiced off-campus, the facilities would improve and would open up opportunities for different uses of the Country Day field.

Furthermore, it’s unreasonable to present teams such as baseball a subpar, potentially dangerous practice location. Our athletic teams should be set up to succeed, not to sprain their ankles on gopher holes.

First, the school should replace the grass in the soccer field.

The school has spent money upgrading academic facilities and the gym in recent years, but it seems as if the fields have been left to rot. If there was no longer a need for an on–campus baseball field, the baseball diamond could revert to grass — which would open up more space for P.E. as well as student lunch.

Right now, students often eat lunch on the grass in the garden. However, if the school set up tables out on the newly-open backfield, it would open up a whole new space for students to use. Meanwhile, the dirt track should be officially maintained for student use.

Sports fields are an integral part of athletics. There’s no excuse to let them stagnate in disrepair.

— By Andrew Burr

Originally published in the March 29 edition of the Octagon.

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