|Mon, Sep 15, 2014 05:39 AM
|Issue of September 10, 2014
August 13, 2014 | 09:38 AM
Eight days before the first official day of practice for the new athletic calendar, a storm packed with heavy winds wrecked havoc on a pair of athletic facilities at South Central Junior-Senior High School.
The night of July 26, strong winds ripped two of the five tennis court surfaces along with bending the fence along the right-field line at the baseball field.
Suffering the most damage was the tennis courts. The surface was ripped up by the winds and rolled up from the baseline nearest Chariot Run golf course to the center court net.
About 10 years ago, the surface at the tennis complex was redone with a carpet-like covering over the asphalt.
"The courts were designed with a covering which was supposed to keep the courts from developing cracks over time," South Central boys' tennis coach Casey Hogan said.
The new surface was installed prior to his arrival.
Too heavy to move, the damaged court remains on the pair of courts.
The South Central boys' tennis program has experienced recent success. In 2011, the Rebels won their first Southern Athletic Conference title since 1983.
South Central principal David Beaver said the damage came as a surprise to him.
"It peeled all the way back, and I was surprised by it," Beaver said. "I didn't know we had a surface like that. When (athletic director) Ms. (Sue) Lanham called me to tell me of the damage, I didn't believe it. Once I was on the property, it made more sense."
To fix the damage, Beaver said they are working with the South Harrison Community School Corp. maintenance department and the insurance company to gain estimates.
"Once that occurs, we will take bids and try to get it repaired," Beaver said. "(Facilities coordinator) Travis McKim has been doing a great job getting this going. The plan is to play our tennis matches away for the fall. We'd like to play a few in Corydon to keep some near home."
Although two courts are mangled, the three remaining are usable for the tennis program. Practice commenced for the boys' program on Aug. 4, and the boys' first match will take place Tuesday at Providence.
"We have three playable courts, so I can run practice fine," Hogan said.
Beaver added the damage wasn't a total disaster to the tennis facility and said he was glad no one was injured during the storm.
"I hate it for the boys," Beaver said. "It cuts back on their practice time, but I know coach Hogan will make it manageable. I appreciate his flexibility."
At the baseball diamond, a set of bleachers rolled up on the fence near the first-base bag. The weight of the bleachers caused the chain-link fence to bend in toward the foul territory.
"We have some time to look at the baseball fence," Beaver said. "It's bent and damaged, but, if we had to, we could play a game on it."
The South Central baseball program, coming off its fourth straight Class A Sectional title, plays in the spring.
Beaver said there was no other damage to school property.