San Marin athletes left to practice on blacktop

Coaches and their teams are having difficulties finding a place to practice with the amount space available at San Marin. With one turf field, teams are left to practice on the upper field, the Sinaloa field and the blacktop. For many coaches, cancelling practice is the only option. This is true for Elenai Katsaros, coach of the girls junior varsity soccer team. When all other practice spaces are unavailable to use, she and her team will often watch soccer videos in her classroom rather than cancelling practice all together. She described the upper field as dangerous and inconvenient for her team to practice on.

“Terrible. It’s unsafe. It’s not kept well. There’s no drainage so it floods during the season. It’s beyond unideal,” Katsaros said.

Sophomore Chloe Mahachek, a player on the junior varsity soccer team, described the upper field as unplayable, regarding its holes and its abundance of mud.

“I wouldn’t say the field has greatly improved our skills as a team,” Mahachek said. “We lose a lot of practice time and the practice that is done is done at a lower quality than it should be.”

During the rainy seasons, the teams that are left to practice on the upper field are greeted with ankle deep mud patches and tall wet grass. Senior Michael Barr, who played baseball his freshman year on the upper field, said that after long periods of rain, ankle and knee injuries were common due to the mud. Mahachek said that her teammates would leave practice on the upper field with sprained ankles.

“We had one or two girls sprain or break their ankles last season which is unacceptable for a school facility and there’s nowhere else we can practice,” Mahachek said.

During lacrosse season, Barr said they can usually fit multiple teams on one turf field, but 20 yards of space is not enough for his team to practice at a competitive level. With multiple teams practicing on the turf field at the same time, coaches hope that the grant for lights will soon allow them to practice longer and earlier or later than other teams to get the space they need. San marin athletes are worried for what the upcoming seasons will hold for their team.“I worry about injuries and the continued loss of space and practice time due to the increased rain and the preventive measures taken towards the fields issues,” Mahachek said.

Dennis Davis, co-athletic director, says that the lack of practice spaces has been brought to his attention and that plans are in motion.

“As part of the facilities master plan, San Marin will be getting a second turf field,” Davis said.

Timing is unclear, but the school’s goal is to have the field in place by November of 2018.