by Jordan Evans
One look at the softball and lacrosse fields after school shows just how much the fields-in-progress are needed. Athletes trample and grind the fields from early afternoon to past dark; there’s hardly time for the spray-painted ground to settle. Despite the football field’s beauty, its slow transformation to a pristine field does not provide school athletes with a place to practice. Without the two main fields, the remaining lower ones are completely booked with sports practices. The practice schedule is crammed and unorganized, making it difficult for anyone, players or coaches, to keep organized.
Some sports, like football and field hockey, have access to the fields for longer amounts of weekday time than other sports, like marching band. Although band practice is scheduled later to accommodate those with a seventh period, it is pushed back so far that the latter half of practice is in the dark. The team is therefore at a disadvantage. The lower temperatures also affect instrument tuning, which can interrupt practices.
If on days where two sports teams share a field back-to-back, the first team should end practice earlier to allow the second one to practice with ideal conditions available earlier in the day. This would not be a major time reduction for the earlier team; the compromise would only happen a couple days out of the week. Most sports practice every weekday; therefore, it would not have too much of an impact on the overall time.
Another issue disrupting Los Gatos athletes is confusion regarding the location of that day’s training. Sometimes a team will arrive at a field, only to find that another group is already utilizing the space or it is otherwise unavailable. Further time is wasted trying to locate an available area and then moving there. Sophomore Katie Enns noted, “Last year, our lacrosse coach would tell us to practice at the lower field, but the boys would be set up there. We’d have to take all our stuff and carry it to a free field.” Sports are an integral component of the Los Gatos culture, so communicating a clear schedule should be made a top priority. A simple confirmation amongst coaches or team captains could save time and put a stop to uncertainty for players and staff.
Sticking to a schedule with time and daylight-sensitive field assignments would reduce confusion for all of those involved. This would allow more time and energy for the team to be focused on training, the most important element of an after-school practice. The new fields are desperately needed to alleviate the compactness and stress of sports practice; new areas will allow more teams to train at the same time and with optimal conditions.