To the Editor:
As I read the Boston Globe today, I see photos and an article about the Fall 2 season, and football starting. Every photo had kids outside on their plowed, shoveled, and dry multipurpose playing surface. Not our students and players — mud and rocks and goose droppings for them. For years now I have vocalized my support of the planned improvements of the playing fields and track on several platforms — most notably my sports telecasts and news telecasts on MVTV. The time has come for the written word.
As a retired educator and coach, and for the past 15 years the producer of more than 80 high school sports telecasts on MVTV per year, I feel qualified to have an excellent assessment of the proposed project. It is absolutely essential that the project proceed as presented. There is a mountain of evidence and opinion about the benefits for our kids and the continued success of our athletic programs. We have a great ice arena for hockey and pool for the swim team. The sailing team is fine in the Lagoon. The golf team is blessed with the courses they practice and compete on. The tennis teams have five good courts to practice and play matches on. (They have to compete on hard surfaces, by the way — not clay or indoor carpet.) The gym is a good facility that is 25 years old, and maintained pretty well.
But the majority of our athletes are participating in outdoor fall and spring sports that require fields and facilities that provide a quality environment to play and compete on. It has been stated over and over that a natural grass surface can’t survive with the amount of use and wear and tear that occur with practice and games. It is not like a golf course fairway that is maintained by an extraordinary staff and budget. As someone who films the sports played in the fall and spring, I see the evidence every day. The combination of playing surfaces as proposed is excellent. The game field as proposed is what every fall and spring athlete needs to play on to have a chance for improvement on every level of competition. The track and field complex will serve many in the community as well as the athletes at the high school. Let’s move on and upgrade from mediocre to excellent, like every other school we compete against.