Verbena’s poor floor a shame

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Football season has been over at Verbena since an 18-6 loss to Marbury on Oct. 30, but the ball is still bouncing funny.

Basketballs aren’t supposed to do that, but the hills and valleys in the floor of the school’s old gymnasium can make dribbling a difficult task.

As a result of some hard work over the summer, Verbena’s boys team on Monday picked up its first win since 2006. The girls team last season ended a long losing streak. The programs—under the direction of coaches Jonathan Shedd and Jennifer Ingram, respectively—are making progress. The same cannot be said about the facility they play in.

Three problem areas arose with the heavy rains this fall. One was flattened with more than a hundred cinder blocks stacked on top of plywood. A second was corrected by Shedd and assistant principal Tommy Headley. The two spent a combined 13 hours of work cutting out an area of floor underneath the basket closest to the locker rooms, straightening the metal rods that run under the joints and then replacing the floor.

The process will probably be repeated on the third spot, on the corner of the floor nearest the concession stand, during Christmas break. Until then, players will keep carrying blocks off the floor for practice and putting the blocks back on at the end of the day.

For senior Brad Boswell, it’s not the ideal end to a career that finally includes some wins. “You can’t even dribble over there,” he said. “We had some people complain about it last year.”

Members of the county board of education are aware of the problem but have not enough money and many schools that need some of it.

Superintendent Keith Moore said the county’s first priority has to be removing portable classrooms from campuses before it can turn its attention to other facilities, such as gyms.

“We haven’t done anything to that gym basically since the thing’s been built,” new Board of Education president Chris Davis said during Tuesday’s meeting. “We need to do something down there.”

Something will surely be done, but probably too late for players like Boswell to enjoy. Until then, Verbena players will keep inviting their opponents to dribble toward that spot in the floor.