Northwest NEWS

March 15, 1999

Editorial

It's time to look an athlete in the eye

   I would like to address this letter to those in the Riverview School District who have voted against construction of a home field, a stadium, at Cedarcrest High School.

   Track season has begun, and approximately 70 young boys and girls have started after-school practices. Quoting from a description on the school website, "When practicing at CHS, the team uses the gym, the commons, the parking lot, and the gravel loop around the only piece of CHS grass, pretty much wherever we can."

   These conditions have been noted to greatly increase the incidence of shin splints, an obvious health concern of both the coaches and the athletes. In order to practice an athlete's actual event, practices are held at Woodinville High School three times a week: twice a week, at 5 p.m., after Woodinville High School has had their own practice; and one on Saturday morning.

   All of these practices in Woodinville require our athletes to provide their own transportation to and from practice. Knowing all of this, 70 athletes still have the desire to participate in track.

   I would like to urge all of you who have voted "no" on the stadium bond to come to school one afternoon and observe a practice. Then, while you are there, maybe look at one or more of those young athletes, face to face; look them directly in the eye and explain why what they're enduring is okay. Why it's all right that they are having to risk a greater incidence of shin splints. Why it's all right that they have to run on sidewalks and asphalt roads around the school building in order to run laps for conditioning. Why it's okay that they only have a gravel loop around a utility field to use. Why it's okay that they have to travel to another school's facilities.

   Why is it that a home field is considered to be too grandiose? Why does Cedarcrest not deserve a home field for practice, home meets, and events? I certainly do not feel that only the track team is impacted, but I do feel that the track program points out the very compelling argument as to the facilities that are sorely lacking at Cedarcrest High School.

Greg Jackson, Duvall