(Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

October 12, 1998

Central's athletes are back in action on home turf

By COLLIN SEGUIN
The Tattoo

After months of waiting, it's time to play ball
on many of the new athletic fields at Bristol
Central High School, to the joy of many of the
school's fall athletes who will get a chance to
use them at last.

"It's good that the sports program is getting
some much-needed help," said Jocelin Donahue, a
senior on the cross country and track teams.

The soccer teams have used the new fields for
games and the football team is practicing on
them. With the track completed, the cross
country team is doing some of its running there.

Mike Gaughan, a senior on the cross country and
tennis teams, said the new fields were worth all
of the extra trouble.  He was especially
impressed with the improved drainage system.

"It rained the day before, and the fields were
still dry that day.  A definite improvement,"
Gaughan said.

Chris Melinosky, a senior on the football team,
was also impressed.

"It's sure looking green out there," he said.

The $1.75 million project -- which will be
duplicated at Bristol Eastern High School soon -
- was needed for a variety of reasons.

According to Athletic Director John Novakovski,
"The fields drained very poorly, which caused
some serious problems.  When it rained, it took
a long time for them to dry.  The track was
outdated, a stone dust track."
  
So, last fall, construction started in the
middle of the fall sports season.

When completed, Central will have a spiffy, all-
weather track, two regulation baseball fields,
three regulation soccer fields, a football
practice field, five tennis courts, a softball
field, and a practice field located in the front
of the building.

There were many complaints about the timing of
the construction. Some people said the work
should have started earlier so it wouldn't have
caused as much disruption.

Because of the project, all of the outdoor
sports teams, including most of the fall and
spring teams, had to be hauled in buses to
alternative locations for practices and games.

"All teams were moved except cross country. 
Football was moved to Casey Field, the freshman
team to Southside, boys soccer to Chippens Hill,
girls to Rockwell, tennis and baseball to Page,
the freshman baseball to Riley, and the track
teams had to be combined at Eastern," Novakovski
said.

All of this meant extra time for getting on the
bus, extra time for the bus ride to the field,
extra time to wait for the bus to arrive at the
field and extra time for the bus ride home.

It ended up that practices were lasting much
longer than they had been before construction.
In addition, sometimes bus drivers were
misinformed on what time they needed to be at
the school, and what team they were expected to
bring. As a result, some teams were either left
without a ride, or with an increasingly long
wait.
  
This arrangement was, of course, a bit of a
hassle for many athletes.

Josh Krampitz, a senior on the cross country and
track teams, said that being transported to
every practice and meet became "a little tiring
and annoying after a while. I started to wonder
if the track would ever be done."

So was it worth all the aggravation?

The verdict is still out.

Margo Walerysiak, a senior on the girls soccer
team, isn't ready to heap the praise on the new
fields just yet.

"Well, I think the wait was probably worth it,"
Walerysiak said.

She said, "The sidelines are too crooked, but
the grass is softer, and you don't run into the
baseball field anymore. They didn't do that good
of a job planning the fields, but they still are
pretty nice. We kind of got used to the fields
at Rockwell, and the fact that they were so bad
helped us to be able to play on any field."

Bristol Eastern, according to Novakovski,
"should be started in the spring. Practices will
be handled in much the same manner."   The
fields used for the Central practices will
probably also be used during the Eastern
renovations.

At Central at least, there are some very
relieved athletes who don't have as many boring
bus rides.


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