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BALL FIVE: Rebuilt stadium may be on horizon

I’ve had a couple conversations at the school about Tiger Stadium and how there may be a lot of work being done in the future.
The talk is about what would really be a brand-new Tiger Stadium, because it would start with rebuilding the track with eight lanes. That encompasses a whole lot. This would be a big-time operation that would cost a big heap of money. Unless some fat cat comes in with a seven-digit check with the first number being round, this future is not this week.
For those of you who don’t know, the track at Tiger Stadium was built a long time ago by the long-departed Northwest Lutheran Academy. Not only does it only have six lanes (apart from the front stretch which has eight), when it was built it was measured in yards not meters. It simply does not have the correct lay of the land.
Now before you go all, “Why should our little town invest millions in a new track? The one we have works perfectly fine,” the answer is because we should, and no, it doesn’t.
First of all, having a six-lane track prohibits Mobridge from hosting bigger and better track meets. The Tigers are in the Big Dakota and Central South Dakota conferences. Our fellow conference schools do come here when it is our turn to host the conference meets without complaint. When it comes to the postseason, Mobridge cannot even attempt to host a region meet. Our kids deserve to run on a first-class track. Simple as that in my mind. I won’t even go into what hosting hundreds of kids and their fans, parents and other relatives could do economically for the town.
As to why the investment should be made, well in my mind that is pretty simple, too. Ten years ago, we built a new school. It wasn’t built for that year’s seniors, or the next class or the next after that. It was built to educate our children for the next few decades, for seventy, eighty years.
Every year that we don’t completely rebuild our track is another year we are not preparing for the next decades, for the future of Mobridge.
Picture a Tiger Stadium where the track is eight lanes, maybe there is even a building with locker rooms (which I feel is a must for our football and track programs). The Bridge City is hosting bigger and better track meets all the time. Our youth are thriving.
Some of you may be wondering what it is that is so important about a thriving track team in a rural American town. Well, track is a very transformative sport. It is one that teaches kids what they are capable of. It is measurable, especially for the athlete. Even the runner who never wins can use times to attain personal growth. I should know. I ran track from seventh through 11th grade and earned one medal for my work. But it was all worth it, because I learned so much about what I had inside me. It taught me what I did well, and it taught me what my limitations were and what I could do to turn those athletic limitations into assets.
If I had my way, every child in middle school would be on the track team. Well, most of them are. The middle school track team was twice the size of any other team at the CSDC meet on Saturday.
This year’s high school team is missing too many of our school’s good athletes and that’s too bad. Track makes you better at football. It makes you better ant basketball and volleyball and baseball and any other sport you participate in. Track does that in two ways, physically and mentally. Maybe mentally is the best teaching track does.
So, find the money, invest the money. Remember how for years the late Pat Morrison would call Tiger Stadium “New” Tiger Stadium? Ya, it was that long ago. The time for a new new Tiger Stadium is fast approaching. At least I hope it is