Prior to league change, athletes reassess current facilities

Athletic facilities of EKL schools and Mill Valley differ greatly, according to athletes and coaches


By Madison Ferguson

After practice, freshman Ryan Williams takes an ice bath with his teammates on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Nick Booth, Jason Chen, and Sarah Myers

As teams prepare to enter the Eastern Kansas League next fall, athletes are previewing what competition will look like in the EKL. When looking at how Mill Valley’s facilities compare to those of EKL schools, however, there are many places where the school falls short.

For the swim team, challenges lie in not having a pool to practice and compete in on campus, unlike Blue Valley schools. For junior swimmer Garrison Fangman, traveling between school and the pool they practice at can be difficult.

According to Fangman, taking the bus to the pool takes 30 minutes and getting home takes up to an hour, as the bus stops at De Soto High School.

“With an [aquatic] facility, our travel time could be used for changing and just getting in the pool for swimming, starting a lot sooner,” Fangman said.

Cross country began taking ice baths to aid leg recovery after long runs. Although the team takes these by the dumpsters, Coacher is glad to have the opportunity.

“I think it’s good that we have the opportunity to take ice baths,” Coacher said. “ … this is the first year we’ve really gotten to do that.”

According to senior wrestler Seth Burnett, the wrestling room is also limited in space.

“Our wrestling room is one and a half mats and there are some [schools] that have two full mats, and that makes a huge difference in practice,” Burnett said. “I’ve been into other rooms, like St. James, and I’ve been to [St. Thomas Aquinas] and their weight room is way bigger than ours.”

According to baseball coach Jeff Strickland, the team has been raising money in order to make the on-campus field playable for games, as the team currently plays games on a field at the 3&2 Baseball Club. This involves the addition of a press box, dugouts, bullpens and resurfacing the field.

Strickland believes that although the spaces need improving, they don’t define the entire athletics department.

“At the end of the day, facilities are a big part of an athletics program, but it’s not the end-all,” Strickland said. “It’s just a part of it.”

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