Monday, November 27, 2017

Seattle Schools' Athletics News

There have been several articles recently about athletics issues in SPS.

One of them is the story about the crappy field at Cleveland High School that is unusable by their teams.  This field is one that is jointly-owned space with the city.
The approximately 2.8-acre (122,250 sq. ft.) site is comprised of two parcels. The northern parcel (Parcel No. 7549802085) is part of the overall property for Cleveland High School that is owned by Seattle Public Schools. This portion of the site is comprised of concrete tennis courts surrounded by chain-link fencing, a grass area that had been previously utilized for batting cages, a small storage building and the north portion (approximately 100 feet from north to south) of the existing field; a concrete retaining wall divides the tennis courts and former batting cage area from the existing field.

The southern parcel (Parcel No. 7925100125) is owned by the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and is comprised of the remainder of the existing grass field area. The existing athletic field is currently a flat natural grass playfield that was at one time surrounded by a natural dirt running track; currently the track is overgrown with vegetation.
 The district actually has plans for the field.
The proposed Cleveland High School Track and Field Improvements Project would replace the existing natural grass playfield and former tennis courts with a synthetic turf athletic field and other associated recreation facilities.
And, they were working on an EIS in August 2017.

But there was this recent story from My Northwest:
“We practice over at Van Asselt (elementary school),” said Coach Paul Anderson. “We we’re hoping to be able to practice on our field this year, but for whatever reason it wasn’t done in time. The kids, they’ve shown a lot of resilience, and I really applaud these guys. Going through the summer we practiced at three different fields. We’re currently on a soccer field that doesn’t have any lines on it. My old field didn’t have any lights, so we’re just kind of making do with what we’ve got.”  

The Cleveland team missed nearly a dozen practices because they didn’t have a field to use, and when they could borrow a field it was so far away they had to take a bus to it, or walk and haul all of their own gear. That trip ate into what little practice time they had.
The district claims that it is working on this via BEX IV funding but has to figure out how much they pay and how much the City will pay.

This is a great example of how the City and the district need to work together.  Given the number of groups that could use that field (not to mention the general public) and that it exists in an area with a large number of low-income people of color, you'd think both entities would get this done.

However article says the district is just now going thru the EIS but that's not what the district's website says.
The district is currently going through the SEPA process (environmental impact study) which should be completed in about 6-10 weeks. If permits are awarded, the project for Cleveland High School could begin as early as June and be completed in the fall of 2018.
What is very weird to me is that - rain or shine - on every single BEX and BTA, there is funding to keep up the fields.  I am baffled how Cleveland's has fallen so far behind. 

Then we have the curious case of Seattle Schools' high school basketball programs.  Try to follow that bouncing basketball because it takes some odd turns.

When we last left Nathan Hale High School's basketball program in 2016-2017, they had a former NBA player turned coach, Brandon Roy.  (Hale had been 3-18 in 2015-2016.) He then magically got two of the top players in the country to move from Missouri to play for Hale.  Add to that several other transfer players and voila! They win the 3A state championship.  The coach said he loved Hale and wanted to stay.

The Times sport section drooled over the idea:
Aspiring college players will be drawn to someone who can teach them and Roy's stature will be a major allure.  Of course, some might say that kids shouldn't be picking a school based on its basketball coach - that all this transferring isn't what prep sports are supposed to be about.  
But things change.

Now, Roy left Hale and is now at Garfield.  (Mr. Roy attended Garfield.)  His two top players, the Porter brothers, left Seattle to follow their father, also a basketball coach, back to Missouri.   (An assistant coach at Garfield, Walter Washington, is now the head coach at Hale.)

Then, in April 2017, Roy got shot in the ass at a family gathering  and seems to have no explanation for this turn of events, not even that it was accidental.  From the Times:
The phrase, "but then I got shot" either prefaces or concludes many of the reasons why he sat tilted to his left side on Garfield's basketball court. 
Somehow Roy now has yet another top basketball player coming from out-of-state ( Ed Chang from Nebraska) to Garfield. And, one Hale player, MarJon Beauchamp, has transferred from Hale to Garfield.  (I'll have to assume that his family just happened to move to the Garfield region.  I note that Enrollment never seems to check these odd movements of athletes.)

Garfield opens its basketball season this Friday against Cleveland.  If only Cleveland's field got the same kind of attention that Garfield and Hale's basketball programs get.


NESeattleMom said...

Melissa, The original Seattle Times article quoting LA police dept said that three guys were standing in front of a house at a family party and they were each shot once. They said the gang department would be investigating. There isn't much more that Mr. Roy could say about that (I think). The point of what he was saying (I think) is that after this incident he realized that life is short and that if he wanted to do a certain thing (coach at GHS) he should go towards that goal. Many people have these life changing incidents in cases like this. I am not a sports person, but don't think we should look for a reason to put someone down from small sentences that might be said.

Don Mincher. said...

You didn't mention that Garfield and Beach played in a football playoff game... first time in decades. Or that Garfield beat Eastside Catholic to knock them out of the playoffs. I heard eastside catholic players and coaches were so upset by the loss that they refused to shake the Bulldogs hands after the game.

Looking forward to the Garfield/Beach basketball games this year. Should be epic!

Anonymous said...

Time to decouple athletics from academics. We're the only developed country that has this union. Have PE at schools and let sports be handled externally through club teams.
I have seen way too much chicanery and abuse of school budgets to help facilitate the hopes of boosters.

Trust me, I grew up in East Texas, and the fraud/deceit where schools didn't have proper textbooks but their stadium could seat 10,000 was enough to make you cry or move.


Anonymous said...

Eastside Catholic and O'Dea are both sports powerhouses when it comes to football. They are very different in their sportsman behavior. O'Dea has great sportsmanship while Eastside Catholic does not. O'Dea puts in their JV team if they are winning by large numbers while Eastside grinds you into the dust. I am not surprised at Eastside's petty behavior.

Roy decided to go to Garfield after he got shot. His grandma encouraged him. He took his entire entourage of assistants with him leaving the Garfield assistant coach with no place. I am grateful that the Garfield assistant coach opted to come to Hale. This will be Hale's 7 coach in as many years. Hopefully, this one will stick around longer than a year.


Anonymous said...

How about the new High School, which has absolutely NO athletic fields whatsoever. So much for "equity" in SPS.

Wallingford parent

Anonymous said...

That's the new Lincoln High School.

Wallingford parent

NESeattleMom said...

Is there any way Lincoln can get the sports fields back after school at Lower Woodland? I remember the football team jogging up to Lower Woodland after school for practices decades back.

Anonymous said...

"Roy got shot in the ass at a family gathering"

This blog continues to be such a class act.


Melissa Westbrook said...

I didn't mean to put Mr. Roy down; I meant the situation seemed odd to me.

Wallingford Parent, yes, that's a good point and one that should be thoroughly addressed.

Special, okay, "he was shot in the buttocks" - I think it means the same thing. The Times reported it was at a family gathering so I'm just repeating their reporting.

Anonymous said...

NESeattleMom, those field are already incredibly overused. Hamilton uses them for various practices, Seattle United uses them, lots of private school teams use them (I see private school busses there many afternoons), other clubs and teams use them, elementary-grade rec teams often use them, etc. Groups are squeezed in so tight already that it's hard to get much value out of practices. For example, my 16-yr-old's soccer team could only use about 1/4 of the soccer field, so they were never able to work on game-like formations and spacing and long plays and such. Want to practice your long ultimate frisbee throws/catches? Good luck. Wallingford schools--elementary, middle, and soon high--ALL lack fields. That's just one reason (of the many) the district should have made Lincoln the middle school and put the high school out at Wilson Pacific. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Sardine is correct.

More fields at Roosevelt reservoir would be awesome and a boon to SPS and the community.