Junior Liara Aber and Senior Rylee Hinton are both athletes at their high school, Champaign Central. Liara participates in swim and soccer for Central and Rylee plays volleyball and will continue next year at the collegiate level. As the seasoned athletes reflect on the facilities they use, we are offered a look at what it is like to be an athlete at Champaign Central High School.
Many know of the issues the facilities have, such as sharing a few with Champaign Centennial, the other local High School, and Combes Gym being without air conditioning, but how do the athletes feel about these circumstances?
When asked about sharing a pool with Centennial, Aber said ¨Weŕe supposed to call it the Unit 4 Pool, but everyone calls it Centennial Pool and like sometimes they can use that against us.” As if not having a pool to call their own is bad enough, sharing can cause problems for the athletes, ¨I don’t know what to call it but just like we really don’t like each other,¨ Aber said about the relationship between the swim teams, ¨one time they like jumped on top of us last year.¨
There is no doubt some of the facilities may not be the best, Aber told us ¨Centennials pool like isn’t even like nice enough for Centennial, I don’t think, cause theres like cockroaches in the locker rooms and like all the equipment and stuff like the lane lines are like rusty,¨ Aber also plays soccer, and was explained to us that ¨the soccer field is on a landfill and its very bumpy and that’s not nice at all.¨
The volleyball team does not share with Centennial, they play at the school in Combes gym. Though Hinton is not bothered by the heat of Combes, she expressed that within the program, ¨I think we definitely make do, I mean we have everything that we need and there’s nothing that we like don’t have that is a necessity but we kind of have to like make our own things sometimes and it’s not like the best but it’s good enough.¨
Out of all the concerns, driving to off campus facilities or the athletic facilities ¨are fine and they’re good enough I just think they’re really outdated and old,¨ the most detrimental aspect is sharing with Centennial. When asked what it is like to play in Combes, Hinton said, ¨It’s smaller so it makes the atmosphere better cause its like more compact, so it feels like louder and feels like there’s more people¨ and Hinton ended describing the gym with ¨which offers like a pretty good home court advantage when you play at home.¨ This is a luxury that not every sport at Central has, their home advantage is the same as their rivals’, and as Aber earlier said, the facilities are often referred to as Centennial’s.”