Breaking in the new court
Chieftain volleyball to play Thursday in new high school gym
Chieftain fans attending Thursday's Tonganoxie High volleyball matches may have double the excitement on the THS home court.
For one, Tonganoxie will be playing its first matches of the second. And two, fans can catch a glimpse of the renovated high school gymnasium, which is nearly complete. THS athletics director and co-volleyball coach Brandon Parker said the team practiced on the floor Tuesday and will practice again today before breaking in the new court for its first night of competition Thursday when Baldwin, Atchison and Bonner Springs come to Tonganoxie.
Previously, the team has shared floor time in the Tonganoxie Junior High gymnasium with the TJHS team.
Parker said the north end of the gymnasium -- where new bleachers are being installed -- and the west side, or visitors section, will not be available for spectators. Renovations continue under the west bleachers, as well as on the new bleachers.
In addition, two gymnasium doors need to be replaced, Parker said.
New locker rooms to the west of the original locker rooms, under those west bleachers, are still be finished as well.
"They're coming along, they're not ready yet," Parker said. "Probably something that's closer into basketball."
Fans may enter the gymnasium at the main entrance to the school, northeast of the gym.
For the volleyball squad, after more than three weeks of practice, the first matches will be a welcome change to intrasquad scrimmages.
"Some years it's been helpful," Parker said of the late season opener. "This year, this team's ready to play. They've practiced really well, but they're ready to start competing against somebody else.
"Practice has not been bad, but they've been through it a year together. They're chomping at the bit to play against someone else."