Amherst spring sports overcoming construction challenges
The Tomorrow River School District in Amherst has broken ground on their Falcon Pride project which will significantly upgrade their athletic facilities. The future is bright, but for Amherst spring sports, the present is full of obstacles.
"Well, it's a different challenge every day," said Amherst Track and Field head coach Gary Fitzgerald.
That is the theme of 2019 Amherst spring sports.
"They've got things torn up rather dramatically."
As construction is underway on the exciting new Falcon Pride project, most Amherst teams have had to adapt, but none more than the track team.
Fitzgerald explained: "We've utilized the high school gym for shotput, we've used it for high jump, and we’ve utilized the road around the school as our track."
Freshmen Hannah Wall has become a rising star within the program in her first year competing at the high school level.
"It's been super fun, especially winning high jump these first couple of meets."
She's done well in other events, even if she's had virtually no preparation for them
"It's also kind of been stressful, because not having the long jump or triple jump pit,” said Wall. “Our first jumps were at the meets, so (we were) a little underprepared."
It's no secret, the track at Amherst High School is in poor condition, and has been for a while. Because of that, the school hasn't hosted a track meet in over a decade.
One of the goals once the project is complete next year is to change that. Something that will change how the program is viewed within school walls and to the competition."
"It gives you credibility,” said Fitzgerald. “It highlights you with other kids in the school so it's a great recruiting tool."
"You know to come out on a brand new field, brand new track, get to play in front of fans in brand new bleachers and press boxes, it's just exciting,” said Joe Sbertoli, Amherst athletic director. “I think it really will have a positive impact on our overall number of kids that participate."
Excitement about the project is palpable for the Falcons, even if they have to go through the dirt to get there.
Sbertoli said simply: "At this time next year everybody will be happy."