NEW SUMMERFIELD —
The New Summerfield Independent School District may be one of the area's smaller educational entities, but there certainly isn't anything diminutive about the school district's vision of building a complete athletic complex for its students, as well as the community, to utilize.
That dream has gradually started to become a reality as New Summerfield's new tennis facility opened up earlier this year to compliment the existing cross country course.
The centerpiece of the complex, which is located on State Highway 110 just south of the high school campus, is the track and field complex, which will include an all-weather eight-lane synthetic, maroon in color with white striping, track plus all of the required jumping pits and throw facilities.
Bleacher seating for approximately 750 people is also being constructed, along with a small press box.
The track complex, which should be completed in late June (weather permitting) will also feature lights and include a regulation size soccer field.
The final phase of the sports complex calls for the erection of a softball and baseball facility.
“We started off by building two-lighted tennis courts because we already had a tennis team, but we were forced to bus them to other places to practice and for matches,” Greg Weiss, New Summerfield ISD superintendent said in a mid-week interview. “We started off small with just the tennis courts, a concession building and a parking lot and we have grown from there.”
Cross county layout gets rave reviews
A cross country course runs across much of the nearly-100 acres of land — only a small fraction of that is being used for the sports complex, however.
That layout hosted a couple of gatherings this school year including the district meet, with even bigger and better things already on the horizon for next year.
“We already have a commitment from the Red River Athletic Conference (NAIA) for them to come to New Summerfield for their pre-conference meet and their cross county championship meet,” New Summerfield cross country coach Kent Willis said. “We feel that this will be a real plus for the entire area because some of these visiting schools will be staying in hotels in Jacksonville and Rusk and they will be spending money locally.”
Several high school cross country meets are also booked for the 2013-14 school year as well.
“We've had a lot of compliments on our cross country course,” Weiss said. “We are looking forward to hosting even more meets next year.”