Our student athletes consistently catch themselves falling due to poor field conditions
American High School—the champion of the Fremont Boulevard, the home to many track stars, and facilitator for hundreds of talented student athletes. Although American students have put their best foot forward and accomplished many things, our facilities are not up-to-par with student capacity nor and safety standards.
Unfortunately, FUSD has installed only one all-weather track and field to cater to five schools and it is crowded almost every day. AHS Track and Field coach Mr. Lindsay and the team have gone as far as to email the district and attend a board meeting to address this issue; however, no resulting action has been taken by far.
“It is not uncommon for TAK to host American, Washington, Mission San Jose, and Kennedy all at the same time for practice. This can mean upwards of 300 or more student athletes practicing at one time,” Coach Lindsay wrote. “Having one facility for 5 high schools is something I don’t believe exists anywhere other than the Fremont Unified School District. And quite frankly, for a district of our caliber to have such inequitable and limited facilities is unacceptable.”
The field and the track among all other facilities are in the worst shape, yet carry the burden of many sports each season. Neither is in good enough shape to efficiently be practiced on let alone being played on. However, many sports have no choice but to practice on them, which has repeatedly brought minor yet repetitive injuries to athletes of many sports.
“Our dirt track is extremely hard, basically like concrete with sand and small rocks on top,” Coach Lindsay wrote. “Our track makes practicing events like hurdles and relays impossible due to safety concerns. If you can’t wear spikes and you can’t start without slipping, then you can’t practice these events. When it rains, our track is often times unuseable. The soccer and football field inside of our track is so full of potholes and uneven that it is unsafe to use as a warm up area.”
This year’s heavy rain brought many track athletes to face injuries from shin splints to hip and back problems.
“It had rained maybe a couple days before and the track was still really wet,” Zackary Felten (11) said. “After one of our speed workouts, I was trying to come to a stop and I ended up stepping in this really softy muddy spot and then rolled my ankle.”
Football players have suffered similar problems, as the field has a lot of potholes and uneven patches which is a heavy danger to the player’s ankles. Aside from the potholes, the dry grass patches lead to many players getting rocks and pebbles in their knees and backs.
“Us as football players are sprinting up and down [the field],” Genaro Estrada (11) said. “I had an injury. I was just sprinting and doing normal ball-catching drills and my foot caught in a pothole that left the bones in my heels all bruised.”
Aside from football and track, almost every outdoor sport is held on American’s track and field leading to at least one athlete of every sport to suffer the same injuries over again.
“During the rainy season where the goals box is it’s always muddy,” Alyssa Rocha said. “The whole field is muddy, the soccer nets have holes in them, and the grass is uneven.
I trip my own self falling in the mud.”
The track and field have slowly become worn out and unusable over the years. Many other athletic facilities share the same fate as they have suffered tremendous damage and brought injuries and inconveniences to the athletes that play on them. American High School athletic facilities are simply in desperate need of reparations.
“Our athletic facilities are outdated; we have outgrown them,” Athletic Director Bryan Hashimoto said. “Ideally, every school in the district would have something like Tak. The field at Tak is all-weather, so students would have the ability to practice at home and play in the rain.”