Athletic Warriors Biggest Opponent: A Lack of Field Space


Tanner Adams

Capacity for Concern: For junior Elizabeth Ackerman and the Dubs’ girls lacrosse team, a lack of field space has been an impediment to consistent practices.

Here at North Atlanta, our student athletes have a lot of off-the-field opponents they have to compete against. Piles of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, community service, social events, sports practices, and games make for a very packed schedule for our athletic Dubs. However, the most aggressive off-the-field opponent for our student athletes is the field itself, or lack thereof. 

Despite boasting 30-plus sports teams, NAHS only has four athletic fields. Of these four fields, two are specifically designated for the baseball and softball teams. For the rest of the many teams, that leaves only the shared game field and practice field. Spring sports available at North Atlanta include baseball (Varsity and JV), golf (Girls/Boys Varsity), gymnastics (Varsity), lacrosse (Girls/Boys Varsity and JV), soccer (Girls/Boys Varsity and JV), tennis (Girls/Boys Varsity and JV), and track & field (Varsity). This equates to 18 individual teams.

Lucky for the baseball, golf, gymnastics, and tennis teams, they have their own personal practice fields or locations. This reality means these teams can schedule their practices whenever they want and coaches don’t have to plan around other North Atlanta teams. However, for our soccer, lacrosse, and track and field teams, this luxury of a personal, individual field space is simply not available. Both the lacrosse and soccer program have four teams each. These eight teams all have practice or a game at least five days a week. Furthermore, North Atlanta shares the practice field with Surge Lacrosse, adding even more teams and difficulty to the scheduling process. “One time, the boys lacrosse team had an 8-10 P.M. practice,” said varsity lacrosse captain Powers Carpenter. “It was such a late practice, especially on a school night. But there was no other field time available.” 

Making field time available for every team, every day is quite the scheduling feat. In order to make time and space for every team, crazy practice schedules have to be created. The schedules force athletes to plan around inconsistent practice times, late practices, sharing the field with other sports and teams, and practices being cut short. When it comes to the game field, the track and field teams are constant victims of shortened practices due to lacrosse and soccer games taking over the game field starting at around 5:30 multiple afternoons a week. “Anytime there’s a change and we can’t get our time in, it’s frustrating,” said varsity track coach Bryce Doe. “You can’t get back the work you could have put in.” 

The lack of field space has put our teams at a disadvantage and further complicated the lives of student athletes. However, NAHS is not the only school that deals with lacking field space. Walton High School, just like NAHS, currently has two fields – not including baseball or softball. Walton, however, has plans to change this with the building of multiple sports complexes, one of which will be a hybrid indoor-outdoor facility. With this addition, the school will add two more fields. In order to accommodate such a large addition, Walton purchased land right next to the school. While something like this would be much welcomed and is much needed for NAHS, it would seem as if finding the land to build on and the funding to do it, is the most difficult part.

As of right now, NAHS student athletes will just have to make do. Adding fields is not something that can be achieved quickly or easily. And the expensive funding required for such additions is not likely to come anytime soon. It would seem that the Dubs will have to continue to play on, even in the face of adversity, this time coming in the form of a lack of field space.