Friday, January 21, 2022 23:02
There are numerous recent and ongoing renovations to the Warsaw Community High School athletic facilities. A new tennis court should be ready by the arrival of the spring sports season. The school added the Tiger Recreational Athletic Center during the 2019-2020 school sports season. The new painting and woodwork on the TCU Court in the Tiger Den also looks sharp.
What does the future hold on the construction/renovation horizon for the Warsaw Community Secondary School? What about baseball?
I was drafted in as a PA announcer for the baseball team last May, and it didn’t occur to me that something was missing on the way to the press room. I realized I had to go to the bathroom, something someone my age does before sitting down for a two-hour sporting event.
Guess what, sports fans. There is no physical structure with a toilet at the baseball diamond. There are port-a-potties lined up by the diamond. As I stepped into one of the curated fixtures, I wondered what typical gusts of the spring sports season occasionally do to unsuspecting fans using those port a potties. Plus, I wonder what Homestead and Penn fans think about this when they come to watch their athletes take on the Tigers.
In addition, there are no lights, and this prohibits the Tigers from hosting postseason tournaments.
I felt sorry for a baseball parent about these circumstances last week. However, instead of continuing to pity this column, I decided to get the perspective of the gentleman who runs the Tigers’ baseball program, Andy Manes.
Manes enters his third season as skipper of the Tigers.
Manes is also a successful businessman, and his ability to maintain a company-wide perspective was clear in his mind, especially a question (paraphrased) he probably heard, typical in the current climate among Tiger baseball fans and parents.
Why were the new tennis courts built instead of baseball renovations?
While baseball fans may be agonizing over the investment in the new tennis courts on the southwestern edge of campus, Manes understands the athletics department’s investment in and the relocation of the new tennis facility.
“As for the new tennis courts…I believe that was done out of sheer necessity,” commented Manes. “Today’s tennis courts are at the point where player safety is an issue and new courts were absolutely necessary.”
Manes also provided background information on the multi-located Tiger baseball facilities.
“I believe the current baseball field was built in the mid-1980s,” Manes noted. “The varsity/sub-varsity geographic split has been around for as long as I can remember, but I’m not sure how it worked in the late 1980s-mid 1990s.”
There is currently no space for a sub-varsity facility on the WCHS campus. The junior varsity and C team play and practice at the Boggs baseball complex on the far west side of Warsaw. There are issues with the land available for Tiger baseball in the current physical state of the WCHS campus. Coaches past and present have been resourceful in keeping everyone connected from different sides of the city. Manes listed
“Our sub-varsity teams practice and play at the Little League Complex (Boggs),” said Manes. “I’m not sure I’d call it a logistical challenge. We make do with what we have… Also note that our program benefits a lot from two new batting cages in our Career Center Gym, and we make exclusive use of the TRAC during our winter training sessions (twice a week).
“There aren’t many high school baseball teams in northern Indiana that have a dedicated two batting cage room and a 300-foot end-to-end field house for winter practice. A renovated Varsity locker room is in the plans where the extra weight room used to be.
“There have been discussions about our baseball facilities with both the athletics department and the central office. They are aware of some of our facility’s shortcomings and I believe those improvements have been incorporated into a long-term upgrade plan.”
The situation of the Tiger baseball facilities is receiving due attention in the meantime, although Manes and I have not discussed timelines and specific ideas. In the meantime, the space in the TRAC and the covered batting cages are out of season and bad weather conditions that the Tiger coach appreciates, the hand play and his athletes are shared.
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