Letter To The Sports Editor: Building a new athletic facility is more than sports for Elma High School

New Elma sports facility would benefit community

On Oct. 31, my daughter and seven other seniors will step proudly onto Davis Field for the last time for their last game as a Lady Eagle. This will probably be the last time that myself and the parents of the other seniors will sit in the stands and cheer them on or other athletes, for that matter.

This will be a very emotional game for me as I will be watching Alyssa play this last game with her friends that have played soccer together since grade school. That in itself is enough to be nostalgic and sad, but when you add to that the fact the grandstands that I and all Elma Eagle fans have celebrated our victories and cried over the defeats will be coming down in the very near future it makes me sad.

I have watched friends, and family members play sports or cheer their team on and have been to a couple of graduations there as well. While this will be a time to look back on all of these things, it is exciting to think of the possibilities for the future of our school and community.

Building a new athletic facility is about more than sports for Elma High School. It is about revenue that it will bring to the district. If we had a great facility with turf fields it will be place that we could host playoff games for all schools around us.

Youth soccer programs that need lights to practice into the winter months will pay the school district to rent the field. The booster clubs could host tournaments that will bring in more money. The business that it will bring our restaurants, the hotel, gas stations and grocery stores will help fuel our economy.

We need to look at this as an opportunity to bring life and business back to Elma. We have a great little town, and we need to promote it whenever possible. Putting more money into Davis Field doesn’t make sense when looking at the other benefits that we will gain from the new facility.

Sports are a way to keep our youth busy and out of trouble. It is a proven statistic that kids who play high school sports stay in school, get better grades have less discipline problems and 94.5 percent of them graduate high school. Many go on to college with scholarships.

The school district pays the county $5,000 every year to rent the facility for graduation. If we had this new facility we could have graduation at the field, saving that money to be used for something else.

Please come to the meetings, hear the pros and cons and share your concerns and ideas. If you can’t make the meetings, don’t make a judgment on what is needed what isn’t until you get all the facts.

There will be all kinds of information in the paper and online and if you don’t go online, call and talk to a school board member. Until you can see for yourselves the incredible opportunity we have at our fingertips, don’t close your minds to the chance to make Elma High School a great place.

Please come out and support our school, community and kids. We need you.

Lisa Sutherby