New years come with new things: new students, new teachers, new schedules—even, as many of us have seen, new bathrooms. But 2016-2017 did us all one better: there’s a new gym in town and it looks good.
The Field House Gym (FHG) had not been refurbished for many years, and with the other ongoing refurbishments, this year was a perfect time to make sure the gym stayed up to date. Danielle Dayton, head of the Athletic Department, explains that the newly revamped FHG was redesigned to bring “more school life, our new foxes logo, and the representation of our league.”
The new foxes logo, less than ten years old, is now the official sign of all MFS athletics, and as such is proudly on display in the gym. Surrounding the gym are banners representing each of the other schools in the Friends League, displaying both the Foxes’ competitive spirit and our sportsmanship towards our opponents.
However, while the new gym has been warmly received by the student body as a whole, many athletes were disappointed that the resources spent to redo it had not been allocated elsewhere. While the new gym is great for indoor sports like basketball, outdoor athletes for sports like lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer, expressed dismay that the Athletic Department had not decided to get new turf fields, as many schools now have. Ewan Larkin, senior on the Foxes’ soccer team, agrees with the disappointment: “Almost every other school in the Friends League has a turf field. Our field is hard to play on with chops in the ground causing the ball to fly in different directions. Also, being able to play in the rain on turf would be very helpful.” Larkin is one of many soccer players who has concerns with the grass field. He also added that one day he hopes to come back to MFS and see turf fields.
Dayton addressed these concerns by saying, “We have seven beautiful fields that our maintenance department works very hard on and they are in great shape: the grass is beautiful and the fields are lined well. We feel like we are fortunate to have five soccer fields and two field hockey fields in the fall and two baseball fields and four lacrosse fields in the spring.” Additionally, while the FHG was relatively inexpensive to redo, with the school only having to recoat the court, put in new wood planks for the logo, and paint the walls, a turf field would require much more significant investment. And while the FHG was old, the grass fields are still top-of-the-line.
There still may be room for improvement, but it is clear that the Foxes’ athletic facilities are improving one step at a time. Many athletes eagerly await the day when they can play on turf fields, but will their dreams be granted? Only time will tell.