A local coal company is helping the Whitley County school district kick off its new soccer program with some free labor.
With the use of some of their contract miners, Teco Coal is helping build the district’s new soccer complex adjacent to Whitley Central Intermediate School. The project includes building two fields, a locker room complex and parking.
"They are doing this work for us to level the fields and create the footprint for two soccer fields and a dressing room facility," said Whitley County Superintendent Lonnie Anderson. "We certainly appreciate Teco Coal and all they are doing to make sure that our students have a nice place to play soccer and learn a sport that will also help them become physically fit."
Anderson said that the only cost the district is out for Teco Coal’s work is the cost of the fuel.
"It is a tremendous asset for us, especially during times when the economy is suffering and struggling and money is tight. They have once again come to our rescue as they have on other occasions," he added. "Soccer is a new sport to our school system, and we don’t have adequate facilities to field the teams."
Whitley County Middle School began playing soccer this spring, and the district has registered with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association to field a junior varsity team in the fall and a varsity team at the high school the following fall.
"Next spring, we are hoping to play soccer at the elementary school level," Anderson said.
He said that the rough grade work on the new soccer complex should be done within the next two weeks, weather permitting.
"Then we will start working on the final grade, and putting in the drainage and sprinkler system and prepping the fields for sowing," Anderson said. "Much like football fields, they are gloried cow pastures. We do hope to be able to be sowing the fields by the end of June."
The fields should be ready for use in about five weeks for the fall soccer season.