Reed City officials taking a look at possible renovations to track

REED CITY — Reed City’s track teams went the entire 2014 season without a home meet, and that most likely will continue to be the case unless the facility eventually receives the necessary upgrades.

The Coyotes had one home meet for the 2013 track season and coach Brent Michell acknowledged in the preseason that there wouldn’t be one this spring.

“The track isn’t quite as level like it should be,” Michell said. “There’s a lot of places where the rubber is totally off the track. It has some dips in lane one where it’s falling away. If you’re competing on it and focused on winning, you could roll an ankle. A chunk of it was cut down and replaced with concrete instead of asphalt.

“It’s not level with the rest of the track. That’s in lane one and curve one. It’s a vital part of the track. It’s not safe to compete in.”

Officials estimate it’s been between 15 and 20 years since the Reed City track was renovated.

Reed City athletic director Kris Griffin indicated the district is deliberating over a possible bond issue, which would include some type of attention to the track. She indicated there is support leaning toward seeking replacement of the entire track rather than a “band-aid” approach.

The Coyotes still train on the track.

“It’s not ideal for training either,” Michell said. “We know where the bad spots are and move away from them to do our workouts.”

While there are various options, it appears the best, if not only, solution is also a new track.

“They took some core samples to see if the base underneath it is solid, but the way it dips in certain places, I don’t think they would find it is,” Michell said. “My guess is that because of the elevation of it, the football field drains onto the track, so that creates problems. Because of the elevation of it, I think the only reasonable fix is a totally new (track). I think anything else would be throwing money away.”

A new facility and a chance of having home meets would be a boost to his program, Michell feels.

Griffin indicated the district is also looking into some type of renovation of the current baseball field behind the high school. Because of the field size and the backstop, the district cannot currently hold district tournaments at the site. The distance from home plate to the outfield fence is shorter than at most high school fields.

“We have used the Rocket (Football) field (for varsity baseball) but it hasn’t worked out to keep both fields going,” Griffin said. “We’d like to keep it on the school (area).”

The fence at the school field cannot be moved back because of a roadway. But Griffin said baseball coach Marty Shaffer “thinks we could go back a little ways with the backstop and look at moving the home run fence or making it higher. We’re in the initial stages (of discussion). Those are some type of things we’re talking about doing.”