Budget cuts affect athletic facilities


Eamonn Lance, Reporter

It’s 4 p.m. on a sunny spring afternoon, and sports are well under way. Runners of all distances surround the lacrosse field, swimmers dives frequently disturb the pool, creating a strong current. The baseball field holds three teams, all who fight for space.

Athletes in Marin cram into small spaces and are forgotten due to the space constraints. Here, the baseball field has a wonky shape as it is constrained by the football field and track that extend beyond its walls.

Smacked down in the middle of the campus the pool is next to the parking lot, and the tennis courts and softball field are squeezed into the side of campus. Everyone fights for space. All of the facilities are used every day. Coaches are forced to work around the daylight and the space in order to practice with the athletes they oversee. Students are kicked off some of the facilities, however, for an apparently biased reason.

The baseball field, right in the middle of campus, is empty nearly all school day because it poses a safety risk for people to use it. It is difficult for people to control where they hit the ball, even for those who have played it all their lives.

Baseball players frequently are “kicked off” when practicing by themselves by administrators, security guards and janitors. This is unfair because after all, the students who practice to better themselves in their sport, something normally seen as a dedicated athlete.

You don’t see administrators telling soccer players to leave the field if they are shooting on one of the soccer goals. The difference is that baseballs are directed towards the football field and occasionally can stray off into campus. This is a greater problem as there is much more control with a soccer ball.

Athletes from multiple teams want an answer to protect them from stray baseballs. Solution: A net that extends above the fence and protects the football field from home runs. Numerous coaches have asked for a net to protect the players from balls flying over the fence but the district administrators have been unable to make any changes.

“At the beginning of the year, I’ll encumber a good $100,000 I know I’m going to spend that money on athletic training supplies.” athletic director Nate Severin said.

While this may seem like a large sum of money, it is only used for the necessities of each sport that includes. “Sixty to 70 percent of the budget goes to necessities. Objects required to play certain sports such as, balls, equipment, officials and uniforms.”

The rest of the money is allocated to other needs of the programs such as custom jerseys, hats and for repair of current facilities. In response to the question, what if someone gets hit? district administrators respond, “Our insurance covers it.”

This lazy answer is frightening as it disregards the consequences of a baseball striking another human. Baseballs weigh a little over 5 ounces and are dense. They can cause serious injury yet the Board seems unconcerned for the athletes at risk and simply brush it off as no big deal.

“I have asked for the four years I have been head coach on the status of a net being put above the fence,” baseball coach Will Mosley said. Multiple athletes are nervous about being on the opposite side of the fence and the long distance runners have stated their concern on the matter. “There needs to be some sort of protection,” senior Gabe Reuter said. “It needs to get done.”