Ashley Na

For roughly a year, the district board has had monthly meetings to discuss changes to the track and field area at Bonita Vista High School. However, no new facilities have materialized, leaving the Barons with the same unleveled dirt covered track, tattered bleachers and grey colored fence surrounding the small grass covered area of the BVHS football field.

“We were supposed to get a new track and field three years ago. We got it approved through special bond money and then the district decided to spend that money somewhere else and so we lost it all. They went up for another vote three years later and we got approved for money again,” Athletic Director Jason Murphy said.

The discussion of the new football field for BVHS had come to a halt three years ago to increase the amount of classrooms by spending the three million dollars originally reserved for the football field. This process included the school requesting a field built and getting it approved by the board with an environmental report, which was the board participating in studies regarding how much the noise it would bring, how late the players would practice and how the lights will affect the surrounding community. According to the track and tennis coach Joseph Sheffield, the school and the board make agreements with the neighborhood nearby BVHS.

“They hold a board meeting and those that live in the neighborhood are welcome to attend to it and talk about their disagreement or agreement, whatever they are for or against it,” Sheffield said.

Murphy states that there would be time and schedule conflicts with different sports teams playing on the new field. Some of these cases would involve sports teams with the same season. Although the teams currently use different fields, sports such as field hockey would be encouraged to practice on the new field, rather than the soccer field where practices currently reside. He states that all of these concerns could be resolved with light so available hours can go past sunset. However, due to current budget issues, the light will not be installed.

“Everything is going to be [based on] status quo, but we might have to rotate days. After football season, the field hockey could play on the grass. The football team has to play on the football field when the next season starts and then they would schedule their games,” Murphy said.

Junior and varsity track and field distance runner Isaiah Labra states that the improvement and the updates of the field have been a topic that has been thrown around quite often. He also states that the team has always wished that they had a track to train and race on.

“It will make the school feel cleaner and more modern. With a new football field and all-weather track, the school’s athletic teams as a whole will benefit, as they will be able to train in the best environment possible,” Labra said.

According to Labra, there were some difficulties while running in the track and football field, including the constant dirt kicking up in the air, as well as the potholes which later could injure ankles in worst cases. With the new track and football field, as well as the turf, Labra states that these new changes would definitely inspire more people to use it and join the sports teams relating to the facility.

“I also mentally think we will be more confident that we are training on the best surfaces and best conditions that give us the same advantage as our competitors,” Labra said.

Currently, the BVHS varsity football team are holding their games at the Southwestern College stadium. According to Murphy, SWC does not want the team on their field. However, the only reason why the school was there was due to a contract 50 years ago, stating that BVHS has the right to use the SWC field in return for providing the college with money to build the stadium. Now that there have been discussions on the new field for BVHS, there would be another contract in place of the recent one.

“If we were to get a new football field, I would have to go hire up to our district coordinator to ask him that question because when we start having our football games here so I guess is that we’d be cut off over at Southwestern College, as far as football is concerned,” Murphy said.

Athletes and coaches alike agree this renovation would improve sports programs. According to Murphy, having a new track and football field would also bring pride to the spectators and bring communities to showcase the opening of the facilities.

“Everyone says our school is ‘ghetto,’ but it is ‘ghetto’ because we make it ‘ghetto.’ Right now there is not a lot of pride in the dirt. I would love the kids to take the ownership and take care of it. Let’s keep it clean, let’s not go trash it. You get this feeling that this is my field, this is my stadium,” Murphy said.