Not too early to wish

Posted

I know Christmas was three months ago, but I’ve started working on my wish list for this year.

And, I’m not sure if old Saint Nick has enough cash on hand.

Last week, I wrote about the state-mandated moratorium that’s handcuffed Mount Olive’s business and residential growth since 2015.

There are other folks in the southern part of the county who need a little extra in their stockings Dec. 25.

One of Spring Creek’s football coaches started a GoFundMe page on Facebook. He’s asking for uniforms, practice equipment and money to send the Gators to summer camps.

But more is needed in “The Swamp.”

The football team lacks a state-of-the-art weight room. Many times this season and in the past, SC athletes have looked like boys among men when they’ve faced schools that have better facilities to develop their teams.

The track and tennis courts need resurfacing.

Old outdoor scoreboards, weathered over time and short-circuited, are an embarrassment.

Go back up Indian Springs Road, take a right-hand turn and ride through the country to Southern Wayne.

They opened a $6 million gymnasium in December 2020.

And I learned through a recent conversation with a coach that the weight-lifting room underwent a significant facelift.

But, like Spring Creek, the Saints need help, too.

Southern Wayne has a tradition-rich track program, yet it can’t host any home meets. The facility isn’t adequate enough in many ways, particularly its concrete track that the county – according to a current coach – promised to redo within a year after a new track had been installed at Eastern Wayne.

The funding never appeared.

We’re wasting money sending the Gators and Saints on the road every week to compete in track. While it probably adds up to just a few dollars and cents, that money – over time – could be saved to address future needs at both schools.

I hate to say it feels like these two schools and their communities are disrespected. I have to wonder if anyone has taken the time to sit down with administrators, coaches, student-athletes and parents and listened to their concerns about facilities.

Yes, it takes money.

These things I’ve addressed can’t be corrected overnight.

Then again, I’ve lived in Wayne County for more than 20 years, and I’ve yet to see anyone step up and say “this isn’t right, it needs to change.”

My next – and last – wish is to have somebody take charge.

Hopefully, Santa has some extra elves willing to deliver some Christmas cheer.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.

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