Tennis Court Repairs Swing Into Action

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Tennis Court Repairs Swing Into Action

Photo by Michael del Rosario

Photo by Michael del Rosario

Photo by Michael del Rosario

Photo by Michael del Rosario

Alexis Naddy, Staff Reporter

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Remodeling a tennis court is more than just putting a hard court or clay surface on the ground. The surrounding fence has precise dimensions, the court must face a certain direction, the ground below the court must be level, a specific soil must be used and drainage on the court must be installed properly. This project may seem like a hassle, but MHS is taking on the challenge.

“The courts had not been tended to for some time, leaving them with large cracks, holes and uneven surfaces, making for an unsafe playing area,” said Head Varsity Tennis Coach Shelley Majewski.

The tennis courts were reaching a dangerous condition for the players.

Comparing MHS courts to other schools, Majewski said, “A couple schools had or have similar situations, but no school had courts that were worse than ours, and for the most part, the majority of the school sites have been updated or at least maintained each year and are still in good playing condition.”

Many may wonder what makes a court out-of-shape.

“Cracks, holes and weeds growing on the courts are usually a dead giveaway,” said Majewski.

According to Majewski and the players, all of these indications could be found in more than one place on the older courts that were used for practices, matches and potential tournaments.

When it came to describing the old courts in the best way possible, it only took Majewski one word: neglected.

But now the new courts will be “safe, level and new. And, with proper maintenance, should remain that way for several seasons,” she said.

The new courts should give the boys and girls tennis teams an easier way to practice in a game-like situation.

“It is hard to play if you are worried about tripping, rolling an ankle or stepping in a hole as well as the ball taking a weird bounce because it has hit a crack and takes off on you,” said Majewski.

The new and improved courts are expected to eliminate these issues for the players.

One popular question seems to be why the school decided to remodel the courts right in the middle of the girls tennis season.

“It was necessary, and with board approval, we needed to move fast to take advantage of summer and fall weather,” said Majewski. “If we were to wait, we may stand a chance of running into bad weather, and then the project would need to be put on hold with no guarantees of it moving forward.”

Although this project concerned the team at first, leaving them wondering where they would practice for the time being, they were able to find a temporary facility. They are currently working out practice schedules at the park district courts. The park district has been “very helpful in allowing us to host matches at Community Park as well,” said Majewski.

One of the many positive outcomes of this project is the potential it holds for using the courts more than just for practice.

“It absolutely will be much easier to host practices, camps, matches and invites here as well,” said Majewski.

In the past, it has been difficult to host events besides practices because of the court conditions.  Majewski said the players are excited to be able to host games.

“They are very proud to be part of MHS [and] the tennis team, and now their facility is something to be proud of, too.”

Not only is Coach Majewski excited about the new courts for MHS, but the players are, too.

“I think it is great that the courts are finally getting re-done. The courts have been in pretty bad conditions the past few years, and this year there had actually been one court we were not allowed to play on because of the amount of cracks and dead spots on the court,” said one of the two captains for the team, Kalli Majewski, senior and daughter of the coach.

A teammate of Kalli Majewski, Mikayla Edquiban, freshman, is also excited for the new courts to be installed because “there will be no cracks on the courts, which will make the balls bounce in the correct way. We will also be able to see the lines clearly since no grass will be growing out of them.”

The courts are estimated to be completed in about 45 days and will cost around $206,000.

Although the timing wasn’t ideal, Majewski said that everyone is “very excited to have this project started, and even though the girls may have to be very flexible this season, we are still enjoying the season very much and doing very well. The boys are also looking forward to their season for sure.”