We all love watching athletes perform in adverse conditions, however, many coaches and athletes themselves think differently. For most of us at Stonewall who are football fans, field hockey, or even volleyball fans, we’ve all seen various conditions throughout fall, and we all love fall football, but there’s been one clear disrupter this fall, the rain.
Football Head Coach Carrol Walker had this to say about the wet conditions
“Heat and rain means that we’re inside for practice, which altogether takes away our ability to get those contact drills that we need to prepare for a game situation. I mean, while the natural grass is easier to manage, we can’t get out there in time to get all the serious practice we need prior to a game situation.” When asked if there were any upsides to this, Coach Walker replied, “I mean, it allows us to gel together as a team, but it is a hard hit to our team to have no contact in the gym, and really hurts our team mentality, but I could say that we’re definitely closer together because of the indoor practice.”
In an interview with UVA commit Chayse Chalmers, he stated, “It’s a hard hit to our secondary, and our offense. Special teams can’t get as much practice as they can while they’re inside, but it’s an advantage being inside in the sense we face less injury as a team, but through this, our team effort has been surprisingly great, the guys are hard workers, and a talented team to play with.”
Wide Receiver Javon stated in an interview, “For a guy who has shin splints like me, the aggressiveness inside or out is hard to come by out of game situations, but the weather caused us to lose some of that fire for the game.”
Volleyball was a sport that was surprisingly affected by all of this as well, in a dual interview with Coach Broady and Player Brieanna Hostetler “The amount of teams in the gym at one time really makes it difficult for our team to focus, but it has made us more court aware.”
However, football and volleyball are not the only sports affected by these conditions.
Field Hockey Assistant Coach Strakosch said in an interview with SJHS,
“We had to reschedule 4 of our games, and with the number of girls that we have this year, the indoor practice with the other fall sports kind of gives us a hard hit as a team.” When asked to outline indoor practice for the team, Coach Strakosch said “During our time inside, we usually focus on conditioning, weight room, running, stairs, things like that, but when we do end up doing drills, we put socks on the end of our sticks so we don’t scrape the ground, but you can see where that puts us as a disadvantage. It’s a tough adjustment for the girls, and while it does bring us closer as a team, we’d prefer to have that on field preparation.”
Field Hockey Player Janes Adorno-Sanchez “The team is mentally affected, the feel like they can’t work at their full potential, the effort inside is not as strong as the team’s outdoor effort. We’re less aggressive on the field because of it, but the team has grown closer by being so closely knit indoors.”
Cross Country Athlete Matthew Brown stated “Staying inside hampers our ability to run long distances and affects our training inside, and it forces us to do training activities that don’t fit our team. It doesn’t allow us to adapt to different running conditions.”
All teams this fall have faced a hard hit, in a closing interview with the School’s Athletic Director, “It seems like every day we’re rescheduling, which also involves finding open dates, rescheduling buses, updating the online schedules, informing social media, changing announcements, and it’s been really time consuming.” When asked if this was the worst Fall season for her thus far, she responded, “Usually you expect these things with Winter and Spring sports, I mean you expect snow in December, and rain in April, but in all three years of working hear, this has by far been the worst. Usually fall is not this wet.”
This season has brought both tragedy and triumph, but whichever side of the weather you have seen as a fall athlete, it has almost definitely impacted your season.
As you may or may not have noticed, Stonewall Jackson High School is changing. There have been many improvements, and new additions to the school.
One change of which was the new tile on the third floor that happened over the summer. Some staff like the change of the carpet, like Mr. Bennett who said, “We needed the tile on the third floor because the carpet was old and disgusting.” Another improvement that Stonewall has, is new doors that lead from the gym to the track. These doors were to replace the old doors that were there. Some students however, complained that the school could have used the money to get better food, or cleaner bathrooms.
Mr. Bouchard responded to these comments, trying clear a few things up by saying “The county provided those doors. This is a safety management project.” He also added “Funds get allocated for certain jobs and our doors were old, now we have steel reinforced doors.” Another substantial change to the school has been the security box near the front doors. Students at first thought it was decoration for homecoming, but when it was still there the day they got back after homecoming weekend, they knew the doors were there to stay.
Many students made the same points of how we need better school food or cleaner bathrooms. Mr. Bennett responded to the outrage by saying “Those bathrooms are on you guys. We have a janitor who works very hard to keep those bathrooms clean every day and makes sure the paper towels are filled up and the students are doing things to mess it up.” His quote makes sense, since earlier in the year one student poured a bag of cereal into the toilet.
The way funds go to different things is all on the county. Mr. Bouchard said that “Each department gets different funds.” Which means that for the students to get better food, the county would have to allocate funds to that department. The biggest change however, has not even happened yet.
By next fall, Stonewall Jackson High School will have a new turf football field. With the new football field, the track and everything in the stadium will be redone as well. The changes will start after this football season ends. This new field will be a great look for the school too, seeing the new field will make the public opinion on Stonewall more positive.
Those are most of the recent changes that are going on in the school. There will surely be many other changes to Stonewall in years to come .