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The Student News Site of Encinal High School

Horizon News

The Student News Site of Encinal High School

Horizon News

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The digicam boom
The digicam boom
Maleia Ferguson, Horizon Staff • February 3, 2024

District closure of fields has sports scrambling

Senior+Josie+Farris+battles+for+the+ball+in+the+first+half+of+Encinals+2-0+loss+to+Alameda+on+January+25%2C+2024.+The+match+was+moved+to+Estuary+Park+after+AUSD+closed+both+high+schools+soccer+fields.
Teagan Shannon
Senior Josie Farris battles for the ball in the first half of Encinal’s 2-0 loss to Alameda on January 25, 2024. The match was moved to Estuary Park after AUSD closed both high schools’ soccer fields.

Torrential downpours last week led to the closure of both high school soccer fields in the district, causing turmoil amongst players and coaches alike.

Unfortunately, the closure coincided with the Island Cup, the annual match up between Encinal and Alameda’s soccer teams. As a result varsity games were forced to move to a different site, and JV games were cancelled altogether.

On January 19, MOF, Alameda Unified’s facilities organization informed both athletic directors that the schools’ grass fields would be closed until January 29.

“They said that the fields were too saturated and that if we played on these saturated fields they would get torn up and that it posed a safety hazard to our kids,” said Encinal’s Athletic Director Kevin Gorham.

With both school fields closed, and limited options, the athletics program was able to rent Estuary Park, a turf field, for two games. However, the biggest problem was the time.

“We worked with ARPD and they were able to get us Estuary Park, which is a turf field,” said Gorham. “Unfortunately, it was booked throughout the day. Their only openings were 1-4 p.m. The only way we could host Alameda High was to use Estuary Park, so the decision was made to have the game at 2:00 p.m.”

Having games while school is in session means students will not be able to attend the games.

“The district notified us without any forewarning. We were just told fields were closed,” said Gorham. “They closed the fields but did nothing to find an alternative field. That left both athletic directors scrambling to find another field to play on.”

Despite it being the district’s decsion to close the fields, it didn’t cover the cost of renting Estuary Park.

“They’re not paying for the alternative field,” explained Gorham. “That comes out of [Encinal’s] athletic budget.”

While players expressed their gratitude for the ability to still hold the event, there still was the fact that it was an unfavorable time.

“I think the move was a good idea, Estuary is my favorite field … and I think moving [the Island Cup] was a good idea,” explained Senior Finn Little. “I don’t like it being moved to 2:00 p.m. because that means there won’t be any fans … hopefully some people come through.”

One worry is that the school spirit will be lackluster due to the timing.

“It’s really unfortunate that the game got moved to 2:00 p.m. because it’s always fun to see all the students and parents across the island come support the teams,” said Senior Amy Screechfield.

The women’s varsity match will be on January 25 and the men’ varsity will play on January 26.

About the Contributors
Max Millot, Sports Editor
Max Millot is a 2nd year publications staff member. He is class of 2025 and continued pursuing yearbook because he wanted to be able to heighten his skills, particularly writing. Some hobbies he enjoys are playing video games and exercising. He also loves to listen to music. He's part of the school's track team in the spring.
Jacob Benaquista, Copy Editor
Jacob Benaquista is a second year publications staff member. He is in the class of 2025 and joined Horizon because he wanted to experience something new and different than normal. Some hobbies he enjoys are playing video games, watching anime, and hanging out with friends.
Teagan is a first year Horizon staff member. She is class of 2024 and joined Horizon because she enjoys taking photos and wanted to participate in creating the yearbook. Some hobbies she enjoys are listening to Taylor Swift on repeat and any kind of outdoor activities. She is part of DECA, softball, and soccer.
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