Bring Back The Courts

Shagbark Park Tennis Courts are in bad shape, prompting many of the tennis team to all for resurfacing.

John Brown

Shagbark Park Tennis Courts are in bad shape, prompting many of the tennis team to all for resurfacing.

John Brown, Staff Writer

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Many people in the Round Lake community go to the Shagbark Park Tennis Courts, and find themselves wondering, “What happened here?” The tennis courts are damaged, broken; like a tsunami came in and wiped out everything. Grass growing in the courts makes one wonder if they have even been used. But what many people do not know is that the Round Lake High School tennis teams use these courts for their practices during the season. Some of our student-athletes are forced to practice in an area that looks like the aftermath of a natural disaster. The tennis courts have not been resurfaced in years and won’t be until students speak up and take action.

Many students at Round Lake High School don’t know about the tennis courts’ condition. Some people may oppose the tennis courts’ resurfacing, saying it doesn’t matter. The tennis team doesn’t get a lot of attention, but our courts really do matter. Our voices can be heard!

The teachers and administration of Round Lake High School should listen to the students on the tennis team because not only is it an essential need for the tennis team to win, but for the entire Round Lake community to enjoy it too. The tennis courts are so worn out and damaged that there are humongous holes in some of the courts. Sometimes in matches, points aren’t even counted because the ball hit a crack or a bump in the tennis court. It would be very unfortunate if one of the tennis players sustained an injury during practice or a match due to the condition of the tennis courts.

The Round Lake High School Tennis Team deserves the same amount of attention just like other sports such as football, soccer, and basketball. “I think the courts should be resurfaced because we’re athletes too and deserve the right equipment, just like any other sport has gotten new things,” said Sophomore, Danny Guzman, junior varsity tennis player. “And more kids are joining tennis. They have an interest in it too and our courts have too many cracks and they’re just old in general. Not only do the tennis players use it, but other people in Round Lake use it as well so when thinking about getting new ones, or resurfacing them they should think of us and the people of Round Lake.” Junior Dariana Ortiz, varsity tennis player agreed, “They need to be resurfaced because it’s just not the community that uses them, it’s the tennis teams,” she said. “If we can’t play on the best equipment available, how do they want us to play our best? Aside from that, it’s hard to play a decent match when other schools face us here because the balls end up bouncing into the cracks, not only confusing us, but confusing our opponents too.” Health, Drivers Ed, and Tennis Coach, Atom Davis also agree. “I agree 100 percent that the tennis courts should be resurfaced or moved to the high school”, said Davis. “The tennis courts can allow kids to play tennis during gym class and can allow more people to gain an interest in the sport. People can completely pass by and just watch for a bit. The tennis courts at the high school will allow practice times to start earlier and greater spectator crowds.”

A solution for resurfacing the tennis courts could be the high school athletic administration compromising with the Round Lake Park District to find a local company to resurface the tennis courts. Another solution could be looking into the funding the school has for athletic programs and saving money. A final solution could be fundraising money through ways of concessions, athletic boosters, etc. The tennis team invests a lot of time and dedication to working hard, even though the outcome may not always be good. The tennis team really does try, and the team deserves a lot more than what we have.

Overall, the tennis team should be provided the essentials needed to succeed, and shouldn’t have to raise questions about why our team can’t get anything when some sports are provided new equipment almost every year. All of our sports teams should get equal opportunities. Perhaps the athletic department can host monthly meetings where we can recognize each other for our accomplishments as well as have a safe space to discuss and solve the problems that our teams are facing. For the future tennis players of Round Lake High School, one should look forward to fresh new tennis courts, and not have to think about the struggles of playing on the cracked, grass-filled shambles we have now.