Sports

A few things the local sports scene really needs

"Life is close to perfect around here, I must admit. Still, there are a few improvements that could move Greater Central Kitsap (Silverdale, Bremerton and environs) a few wingflaps closer to heaven.Short of a domed football stadium to keep us all dry during next fall's high school season, there are a few additions or upgrades that could brighten up the local sports scene.Here are a few of them, in no particular order: New playing surface for Silverdale Stadium:The argument has been used that, since only a portion of the district's students use the slippery, rock-hard artificial surface, the expenditure to replace it can't be justified.Realistically, though, daily usage of the worn-down ol' pitch is in the hundreds - athletes practicing and playing games, physical education classes, marching bands, youth soccer games and practices.It's only a portion, but it's a big portion. And the potential for serious injury - and district liability - is huge.If the band room was insulated with asbestos, we wouldn't blow off the risk because the band represented only a portion of the student body. If they aren't already, the wheels should start turning to get problem solved.Expansion of Pendergast Park as an open-air recreation facility:The open space in the southwest corner of the park, which is being proposed as the home for an indoor soccer facility, could be better used in a number of other ways: A regulation grass soccer field, another softball field or two or a deluxe baseball field with fences and some decent seating, or at very least an open, grassy expanse that could be used for practice by youth or recreational soccer teams.The idea to build an indoor soccer facility is laudable, but it could go anywhere. In fact, proponents might even be able to find an existing facility that could be adapted, saving millions in construction costs and breathing new life into an unused or underused building.The open spaces at Pendergast should remain just that. Putting an indoor facility in the middle of an outdoor park just doesn't make sense.A girls-women's summer fastpitch league:Right now, the local girls programs - the Diamond Dusters, Kitsap Angels, Kitsap Braves et al - play tournaments only, and practically never get to play on their home fields.The girls shouldn't have to go out on the road every weekend just to find some games. The boys don't have to - they either have local leagues to play in, or get involved in regional leagues that might take them to Seattle or Tacoma one week, but have them playing home games the next.With as many good girls programs as there are within an hour's drive, it shouldn't be so hard to put together some sort of league that would provide a good schedule of games for the various age-group teams. A tournament trip should be an occasional treat, not a weekly necessity.An influx of good new coaches for local prep-youth programs:Recent defections in the local coaching ranks hit doubly hard because they don't just involve losing a prep or college coach, but a valuable mentor at the youth level.Central Kitsap High School will miss Lee Yeager, who left the girls soccer coaching position last week to follow a job opportunity to Japan. But Yeager also will be missed as a tireless worker for and promoter of the Central Kitsap Soccer Club.Likewise, Corky Franklin will be missed as OC's baseball coach, but his departure for Coos Bay, Ore., also left a vacancy atop the West Sound Baseball Club's Team 18 hierarchy, contributing to that organization's decision to fold its tents for this summer.A varsity swimming program at Bremerton High School:Oh, wait ... they've already taken care of this one. The Knights will be back in the swim starting the fall, when Dana Kirk and Co. join the other former Olympic League Class 4A teams in joining the Narrows League.Never mind.Mike Moore is executive sports editor of the Kitsap Newspaper Group. He can be reached at (360) 308-9161 or via the Internet at . "

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