Ongoing renovations force teams to adapt

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Ongoing renovations force teams to adapt

On Oct. 11, a crane took down part of the high school. These renovations have forced sports teams and athletes to adjust to new schedules.

On Oct. 11, a crane took down part of the high school. These renovations have forced sports teams and athletes to adjust to new schedules.

EMILY TRELSTAD/SAGAMORE STAFF

On Oct. 11, a crane took down part of the high school. These renovations have forced sports teams and athletes to adjust to new schedules.

EMILY TRELSTAD/SAGAMORE STAFF

EMILY TRELSTAD/SAGAMORE STAFF

On Oct. 11, a crane took down part of the high school. These renovations have forced sports teams and athletes to adjust to new schedules.

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A whole wing of the school destroyed, two campuses, police stationed outside every day. Recent estimates for the cost of the high school’s renovations are at $206 million. These renovations have had an impact on every facet of life.
The renovations have forced the many sports communities to adjust to new schedules and transportation methods.
Athletic Director Pete Rittenburg said the most significant change has been that half of the freshmen end their school days at Old Lincoln School instead of the main campus, which has led to problems with coordinating bus departures for games and meets.
“The Red Cohort is ending up at Old Lincoln School, and we cannot do any bus pickups over there,” Rittenburg said. “So all of our buses are leaving from 115 Greenough or thereabouts, so any bus that has students in the Red Cohort we have to pay special attention to.”
Many of the teams have mixed grade levels, so this has meant that red cohort freshmen who participate in sports need to be dismissed from school early to get to buses on time.
“It’s a 15-minute walk, so we’re typically dismissing them 20 minutes before the bus has to leave,” Rittenburg said. “It’s a rush: there are five minutes to get changed and there are no changing facilities over there, so unless they’re already in uniform, which is difficult, they can come here.”
Freshman Ellie Eisenhauer swims for the high school and is in the Red Cohort, meaning that she has to come from the Old Lincoln School to the main campus at the end of every school day.
“We often miss at least the first half of warm-ups,” Eisenhauer said. “That might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but that’s our time to stretch and get ready for practice.”
Unlike many other teams, the soccer program is divided by grade, with only three freshmen on the boys junior varsity team. These three players, freshmen Toshiki Kobayashi, Oscar Kulkarni and Max Luby, have to rush to the main campus after getting out of school. Boys varsity soccer coach Kyle Beaulieu-Jones said they had to keep track of when the school day ends.
“On the days when they were dismissed a couple minutes earlier, we were able to end practice earlier,” Beaulieu-Jones said. “This allowed students to get on with their night and their homework and their family lives after practice.”
According to Rittenburg, with plans to renovate the Tappan Gymnasium, there may be a positive change for the sports department on the horizon.
“We’re supposed to see renovated locker rooms, some bag drop space, some glass rooms which are really for the wellness department,” Rittenburg said.
However, although Rittenburg believes that a renovation is necessary, it may not happen.
“It’s possible that funds could run short and things that we’re hoping and planning to have done may not get done,” Rittenburg said. “It’s a 1968 building, I remind people. That’s our new gym. It’s 51-years-old.”
The Athletic Department is unlikely to be affected by any construction that may or may not occur at Tappan, as that would happen over the summer. However, there are plans to restore Cypress Field’s grass starting in the spring of 2021 that will force teams to make changes.
“Next fall, I don’t think we’ll have people on Cypress,” Rittenburg said. “We’ve got to figure out what softball is going to do and what cross country is going to do and what some other teams might do as well.”
There are more challenges ahead for the athletics department, but Rittenburg is optimistic about the ability of the sports teams to prepare for them.
“A lot of what athletics teaches you is adaptability,” Rittenburg said. “That’s what we’re about here. Adjustments, right?”

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