Usage of facilities for Central Sports over the summer

Pangaea Kaan, Staff Writer

The use of facilities by Central High School sports over the summer has been an issue throughout the school’s long history. Almost all sports require the use of facilities in and out of Central during the summer. This issue could be due to a variety of reasons regarding location, such as the lack of space in the heart of Downtown Omaha, within far proximity from sports venues used to accommodate a large number of players. Although the school recently built a new football field and surrounding track, the building of the new addition to Central accommodates to the Arts, such as new band rooms, drama classrooms, and art studios.
While many students and coaches would agree the situation regarding space for sport related activities is limited, Luke Dillon, assistant principal and athletic director, says they are trying to find ways to accommodate every one’s needs. “We’re trying to do so much to make up for all the time lost during transportation, it can be tiresome and at the same time, it feels like we’re at a huge disadvantage. I see the work the kids and the coaches put in, so those things are sad to see. Really, it’s a whole scope, some people see it as, ‘well they’re the best in OPS’ and it’s true, but they don’t see the amount of extra work our kids go through every day to produce those kinds of results.”
The way the school is able to obtain these facilities falls into a matter of cost and proximity. “We have to purchase the usage of all facilities. Let’s say tennis for example, a summer camp, the city has fees that they charge for the core usage. There are some sports that don’t require practice over the summer such as swim, which has a lot of club swimmers who are getting that practice out of school.”
The usage of these facilities during both the summer and the school year is extremely important despite the difficulties that are presented with it. “There are some sports like golf or tennis that don’t have on site courses and fields near or around the area. It’s usually lower level sports like cross country, we don’t have anywhere for them to run nearby so transporting to another location is essential.”
Despite all the usages provided by the facilities, Dillon wishes it were easier for the athletes, coaches, and himself. “Honestly, I wish there were a different way where I didn’t have to spend so much time and money on transport and location. When you think about what other schools are doing, none of them are doing near as much as I am as far as trying to arrange a site, transportation to and from. It can be mind-boggling sometimes, especially when you don’t have reliable transportation sometimes.”
In the end, Dillon is trying to make the usage of facilities better for the athletes, even at the cost of other things. “We may be lacking in some of the other areas, we may not have new uniforms, but it’s something that we just have to put on the backburner to give our students a better chance at succeeding.”