Acalanes Athletes Welcomed Back with Improved Facilities

By Sophie Chinn, Staff Writer

// As athletes left campus to enjoy their summer, their school’s athletic facilities underwent a fresh, new makeover. 

   The Acalanes Administration, Sports Boosters, and team foundations funded the renovations beginning during the 2021-2022 school year and continuing into this summer that aim to benefit athletes’ performance, coaching effectiveness, and community spirit. 

   The weight room took on the most significant renovation with a complete transformation. Renovating the weight room was necessary to replace unsuitable equipment that took on damage over the years.

   “New equipment was added, including racks, benches, flooring, and mirrors,” Acalanes Sports Boosters President Julia Bates said. “Equipment was old, there was a lack of it, or it had broken.”

   Many student athletes recognize the importance of accessibility to the weight room, as it offers equipment to increase strength and avoid injuries. 

   “I will use the weight room to get stronger for my sports and feel better about myself and my performance,” sophomore and basketball player Dulci Vail said. 

   Another campus upgrade was installing new audio systems at the football stadium box office and the baseball field. Improved sound systems will enhance the overall quality of school and athletic events for the community.

   “This improvement will not only benefit the sports teams, but it will also make sound during graduation, rallies, and other on-the-field events much louder and clearer,” Bates said.

   A lack of storage was also a recurring issue on campus. The renovations team solved this by adding two large, blue storage containers behind the Snack Shack on the Cabbage Patch.

   “This will get things out of the Big Gym and the Little Gym, closer to the field for the teams practicing there,” Bates said. 

   Boosters also replaced the worn-out benches on the field and purchased new ones for athletes to utilize during practices and games. The six stadium benches will be used on the sidelines for soccer and lacrosse games. 

   Another small, but important addition to the Gym and the Stadium was the installation of new Hudl cameras to record games.

   “In 2020, Boosters had a motion-sensitive Hudl camera installed in the Big Gym. After testing out other methods of live streaming at the football field in 2021, Boosters allocated funds to have Hudl install another motion-sensitive camera at the field in the late fall of that same year,” Sports Boosters Webmaster Jeff Julian said.

   The high-tech cameras allow families and friends to watch games virtually and help teams review how they performed in games to improve their performance.

   “Not only do the Hudl cameras record footage of games and practices for replay, but Hudl also offers Hudl Assist, which breaks down the recordings into highlights, and provides detailed statistics,” Julian said. 

    The Main Gym also gained two new basketball shooting machines this summer. The machine helps athletes get shots up efficiently and quickly without having a rebounder. 

   “The shooting machines allow us to set the locations, tempo, and number of balls they spit out while we shoot. Another cool feature is how they track the shooting percentage and number of shots made,” basketball player and senior Emily Du said. “They are easy to set up, and they take no time to put away…I cannot wait to see what the upcoming sports season holds.”

   The school plans to continue more renovations in future years. People have proposed ideas such as an audio system for the softball field, renovations to adjacent closets next to gyms, a new pad for the track high jump pit, and team rooms in the locker rooms. 

  “Boosters will continue to look to provide more video capabilities in the near future, looking at the pool, baseball and softball fields, and the tennis courts as potential places for more cameras,” Julian said.

Photos by Hank Bauer, Staff Writer

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