This From the Sidelines column appeared in the August 1, 2018 edition of the News Journal…
Before I say ANYTHING else, let me just say that…
• I know this is a conversation that has been ongoing for years now.
• I know that this is just one of about a million concerns that the school board has in terms of needs/wants for its various athletic programs.
• I know that having lights installed is insanely expensive.
Now, with all of that being said, my hope is still to see lights go up at the Whitley County soccer complex at some point in the near future.
I made a post on Facebook late last week that included a photo of a News Journal story from a decade ago. It was about the construction of Whitley’s new soccer complex, and the excitement that was surrounding the project at the time.
Additions and improvements have been made to the complex through the years, but it is still without lights. It would be nice to see that development come about soon for a variety of reasons.
The biggest reason, at least in my estimation, is that the lack of lights is the only thing keeping Whitley from being able to host a 13th Region championship tournament.
As it stands now, Corbin’s is the only facility in our region that has all of the neccessary requirments to host a region tourney. I’m sure they enjoy hosting it each year, but I’m also sure they wouldn’t mind sharing the responsibility if other fields could come into compliance with all the proper regulations.
Also, and this is a no-brainer, it has been a consistent problem over the years that it just gets too dark to play down there.
This isn’t a problem in the early stages of the season, when we still have daylight until failry late in the evening, but when September and October rolls around it starts to become an issue.
The best example I can give of the problems this causes would be the district tournament from a couple of years back. The Lady Colonels were playing in a game that went into overtime, and then into penatly kicks.
By the end of that contest it was honestly too dark to be playing, but the officials allowed it to finish because nobody wanted to see the game suspended just so the visiting team could drive all the way back over a day later to participate in a shootout that would’ve taken all of ten minutes.
However, if it had gotten just a little later that evening it would have been completely black. I guess at that point the refs would’ve either had to make that unfortunate call, or maybe everyone could’ve parked around the field with their headlights on or something. I don’t know…
Anyway, my main point is this – I can’t think of another one of our local sports programs that is inelligible to host a regional event. All of the basketball teams can, because they just go up to the Arema. All of the volleyball teams can as far as I know, or at least I believe they will be able to as of this coming season.
I don’t think there is anything currently keeping any of our local baseball or softball teams from playing region host, but someone feel free to correct me on that if I’m wrong.
Aside from lights going up at the Whitley soccer complex, I’d also really like to see some improvements made to a couple of our coverage area tack and field facilities, but lights is definitely something that I feel should happen as soon as possible.
I know that it’s real easy for me to sit behind a computer and type about these complicated matters when I don’t really have any idea of what I’m talking about in terms of cost, as well as various other concerns. I would like to help, though.
If more information could be provided to me I would be more than happy to help come up with some type of fundraising plan that could maybe get this done sooner rather than later. I sincerely hope that will be the case!