McKenzie, Georgiana also in need of upgrades

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

For the last few months we've taken a look at the athletic facilities at Greenville High and the lack thereof.

It seems that some of the problems that are at Greenville High are similar at Georgiana and McKenzie.

While Greenville does have a football stadium, which is as old as Noah's Ark, Georgiana and McKenzie appear to have half of a stadium right now.

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The two schools have had problems with their stadiums.

Georgiana's rebuilding of its home stands have been put on hold because of some crossed hairs between the contractor and the board of education. Hopefully it will be resolved, but it looks like those bleachers will not be in place in time for graduation ceremonies, according to Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney.

That is just a tip of the iceberg with athletic facilities at Georgiana.

For the last few years the football team has a partially complete fieldhouse, but the only problem is that it has no running water in it. So when the players need to use the restroom, they either have to sneak into the gym or stand in line to the men's restroom that is attached to the concession stand.

In addition to the obvious problems with the football stadium, the Panther boys and girls basketball teams are playing in a gym that looks to be as old as the town itself. I can't get anyone to even venture a guess as to when it was built. In fact the same can be said for McKenzie's gymnasium.

Both are old and the locker rooms are below standard at best.

The very best solution to both would be to raze both and build new gymnasiums that are big enough to host tournaments.

McKenzie came an eyelash away from not being able to host the girls area tournament because the gym does not hold the minimum number of people required by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

It took a vote by principals and coaches to recommend that McKenzie host the tournament since it earned that right on the hardwood.

If there is one advantage that McKenzie has over Georgiana as far as athletic facilities, it would be baseball and softball diamonds.

McKenzie may not have the best fields in the world, but it at least has its fields on campus.

Georgiana's baseball field is across the street from the football stadium, while the Lady Panthers play on a recreation field almost 5 miles away from campus.

Both schools are in dire need of facilities upgrades. So, no Greenville High student-athletes, you are not alone when it comes to substandard facilities.

But since Looney has come on board as superintendent, something tells me things will only get better.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. Call him at (334) 382-3111 ext. 122 or e-mail