There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline that courses through athletes’ veins as they play at home for a big game. All the benefits of playing at home—a big crowd, a familiar court, a sense of pride—factor into an athlete’s game. Ask any athlete, and he’ll tell you that playing at home makes a big difference.
Unfortunately for some CHS athletes, they never get the chance to play on their home field.
If you stand in the middle of CHS’s Bardarson Football Field, you’ll notice a couple things. The field is basically a mound that slopes down on either side; there are gopher holes everywhere; the field itself is torn up from use; and it’s too narrow to accommodate for all sports. While some may argue that these aspects give the field “character,” the truth of the matter is the football field just doesn’t hold up anymore.
Over the past decade there have been countless renovations at CHS, but nothing has been done to improve the football field. It is virtually the same as it was 70 years ago when it was developed in 1940.
The Center for the Performing Arts is phenomenal, the plans for the new science wing look amazing, and the administrative building renovations are surely in need, but once these projects are finished, the football field ought to be the next priority.
“A lot of people look at it as a ‘football field’ because it’s commonly referred to as that,” athletic director Golden Anderson says. “But we look at it as a sports complex, where it’s a multi-use facility.”
The problem is, at this time, the football field really only is a football field because it doesn’t accommodate most sports. Currently, field hockey, soccer and lacrosse all practice and play games off campus.
While Carmel Valley High and Carmel Middle are acceptable alternatives, they aren’t the best choices for these athletes. While still technically a home field advantage, it’s not the same as playing on the CHS campus. It’s just not the same feel at Carmel Valley High.
“I would love having a new field,” senior soccer captain Kes Harper says. “If we could play at CHS, we would have a larger fan base at games, the Sports Medicine room and equipment would be readily available, and a turf field would just be better to play on.”
Harper believes a new field would benefit everyone in the future.
“Even though I’m graduating, I’d be glad to have them redo the field because I could come back and play soccer here as an alum,” Harper says.
These thoughts are echoed by other athletes throughout the school. There are approximately 450 students who play at least one sport at CHS, and many of them would benefit directly from a new field.
Even those students who don’t directly participate in sports that use the field would benefit from stadium renovations. Anyone who enjoys watching sports would much rather watch a game at CHS where there are bleachers as opposed to Carmel Valley High where the fans have to stand.
The community as a whole would benefit from a new sports complex, as well. Not only would renovations mean better bleachers for fans to sit in, but a new field could mean that local groups like the YMCA could use the field on weekends.
There is currently an effort to help raise funds for a new stadium at CHS, which would include a new scoreboard; bleachers on both sides of the field; new pole vault, shot put, long-, triple-, and high-jump areas; a new press box; new all-weather track and field; and ADA access, according to Anderson.
CHS athletes, as well as their fans, deserve to have the best facilities that can be offered. There was a start already with the pool, which has been wildly successful. Now it’s time to look at the football field, which could one day be the sports complex it should be.
And as Anderson says, “Games could be brought back to CHS where they belong.”