Pine River coaches enjoy renovations
LEROY — It was an extremely hectic summer at Pine River, with major renovation projects that included the athletic program.
Now the dust has cleared and Pine River athlete and coaches, and enjoyed the benefits of such highlights as a new gym floor and bleachers, a new track and bleachers at the athletic field and a new weight room in the high school.
“Our wrestling room is not done but should be done by the start date of the wrestling season,” athletic director Shawn Ruppert said. “We need to do some finishing touches on the gym but it is playable right now. The football field is playable and the new stadium seating is awesome. Even though it wasn’t part of the bond, our new cross country course is also up and running.
“This summer was hectic but our students, maintenance staff, coaches, administration, and parents were all flexible and willing to put up with a tough summer for the many years of great facilities that will be at our disposal. I think everyone is happy with what they see. It may take a season or so to work out all of the bugs, but we’ll get there. People just have to be patient and let us work through the issues that are bound to pop up.”
The coaches are excited over the changes.
“Our new gym is beautiful,” volleyball coach Jana Dennis said. “It’s definitely brighter having the floor so much lighter and along with the new bleachers is simply more appealing. The girls were very excited to get into the new gym and start practice. The basketball courts bleachers are not as high on the team side, but that’s for a reason.”
“We do plan on having the teams sit on chairs; there is now enough space to do this,” Ruppert said. “I know as a coach, it is nice to have the fans walking behind you during the game, instead of in front of you.”
“Our new gym floor and bleachers look phenomenal and will be a great improvement for basketball players and spectators,” boys basketball coach Brian Goodenow said. “The old floor had many uneven areas and some dead spots which have all been completely eliminated. I can’t wait to begin our inaugural season with the new facilities.”
Other coaches share his sentiments.
“The track athletes are going to love their new facility,” track coach Eric Gebhard said. “I can’t wait to see the pride in their eyes when they first get to use the track. It’s been a long time in coming, and I want to thank the community for supporting all that use these areas.”
“The football program has benefited from the improvement to the stadium bleachers,” football coach Terry Martin said. “They look great and are far more safe for our fans than the previous set up. It also provides more bleacher seating for our fans. The field is a little scared up from all of the track improvements but we should be in great shape by the time the 2018 season comes along.”
“The new wrestling room for the wrestling program as a whole is a big-time saver,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said. “Mats will be ready every day without having to roll out and roll up. There is more square footage for practices. No more interference with the concession stand prior to games. By that, I mean wrestling being in the way. No canceling practice because of events that use the cafeteria.
“The little kids program now has a place to practice on a regular basis. They can hold regularly scheduled practices with no interruptions No more moving mats to the band room for every dance or event that uses the cafeteria. No more picking up and resetting the cafeteria tables every day just for practice. It’s going to be great.”