Athens tennis team deserves new courts

Declan Hoffman, Online Editor

Face it, none of the athletic facilities at Athens are exactly top of the line. In fact, not much of anything at Athens is top of the line, but specifically the sports facilities and even more specifically, the tennis courts. It is time for a reformation. The tennis team deserves new courts.

Nobody seems to be running around bragging about how our football stadium or soccer field is superior to another school’s, such as Middle Creek. Words like “ghetto, hideous and awful” come up a lot, in reference to the subject. Sure, this might be true, but have they seen the tennis courts?

Probably not. Some have, but the majority do not need to because who cares about tennis, anyway?  And the few who have seen them argue their sport could use much greater funding than any other, understandably. The bottom line is this: the school only has so much money to spend on athletics and everyone needs all of it, but the tennis court renovations need to top priority.

Tennis is a very precise game where a difference in a pound of tension to the stringbed could change the outcome of a match. Surface changes everything and wind or other weather factors can make the game virtually unplayable. With these details in mind, imagine what would happen if the slab of concrete being played on barely remains that.

Chunks of orange ground have remained missing from their place at the tennis courts for quite some time, appearing as if they had been sliced out for no reason at all. In their place, a glazed topping of oil that makes for some fun tennis-on-ice.

Center straps, which play a vital role in enhancing the quality of a tennis match, are also missing from some of the nets. Playing tennis without a center strap is comparable to playing basketball without a backboard on the basket; it is not exactly the same.

The courts do not come close to the condition of others in its conference or what is needed for a quality match. Unlike sports that are played on a field, where grass does not affect play, a court is man-made and therefore can be quality or not. This affects play in tennis especially, again, because of the precision involved. The balls bounce differently on quality surfaces which do not exist at Athens.

Aside from this, new tennis courts will provide for a more aesthetically pleasing sight, something that fields naturally do. Concrete styles for the court changes and the physical condition deteriorates. Reputations often dictate decisions, especially involving money, and here there is no need to be driven by rumor.

It is clear the tennis courts are in need of renovations, or at the least funding to repair some of their vital parts. As it is true any of the athletic facilities at Athens could use some maintenance, the tennis courts are by far the most pitiful, and represent no parallel to the team’s quality. A team comprised of athletes with such a deep ambition to succeed deserve the resources to reach their highest potential.