There are numerous recent and in-progress renovations among Warsaw Community High School’s athletic facilities. A new tennis court is due for completion by the arrival of the spring sports season. The school added the Tiger Recreational Athletic Center during the 2019-2020 scholastic athletic season. The new painting and woodwork on the TCU Court in the Tiger Den looks sharp, too.

What’s next on the construction/renovation horizon for Warsaw Community High School? How about baseball?

I subbed as a PA announcer for the baseball team last May, and it did not dawn on me something was missing on my way to the press box. I realized I needed to use the restroom, something a person my age tends to do before sitting for a two-hour sporting event.

Guess what, sports fans. There is not a brick-and-mortar structure housing a restroom by the baseball diamond. There are port-a-potties lined up by the diamond. I wondered as I stepped into one of the composite fixtures what typical spring sports season wind gusts have occasionally done to unsuspecting fans using those port a potties Additionally, I wonder what fans from Homestead and Penn think about this when they come to watch their athletes take on the Tigers.

There are no lights, furthermore, and this prohibits the Tigers from hosting postseason tournaments.

I was commiserating with a baseball parent last week about these circumstances. Rather than continue commiserating in this column, though, I decided to get the perspective of the gentleman who runs the Tigers’ baseball program, Andy Manes.

Manes is heading into his third season as the Tigers’ skipper.

Manes is also a successful businessman, and his ability to maintain a corporation-wide perspective was evident in his thoughts, specifically a question (paraphrased) he has probably heard, typical in the current climate among Tiger baseball fans and parents.

Why were the new tennis courts built instead of making baseball renovations?

While the baseball fandom might be scratching their collective head regarding the investment in the new tennis courts on the Southwest edge of the campus, Manes understands the athletic department’s investment in, and the relocation of the new tennis facility.

“As far as the new tennis courts go… I believe that was done out of sheer necessity,” Manes remarked. “The current tennis courts are at the point where player safety is an issue and new courts were definitely needed.”

Manes also furnished background on the multiply located Tiger baseball facilities.

“I believe the current baseball field was built in the mid-late 1980’s,” manes noted. “The varsity/sub-varsity geographic split has been the case for as long as I can remember, but not sure how it worked in the late 1980’s-mid 1990’s.”

There currently is no room for a sub-varsity facility on the WCHS campus. The junior varsity and C-team play and practice at the Boggs baseball complex on the far west side of Warsaw. There are issues regarding available land for Tiger baseball in the current physical state of the WCHS campus. Coaches past and present have been resourceful in keeping everyone connected from different sides of town. Manes mentioned

“Our sub-varsity teams practice and play at the Little League Complex (Boggs),” Manes said. “I’m not sure I’d call it a logistical challenge. We make do with what we have… It should be noted, too, that our program benefits greatly from two new batting cages in our Career Center Gym, and we have exclusive use of the TRAC during our winter workouts (twice per week).

“There aren’t many high school baseball teams in northern Indiana with a dedicated space with two batting cages as well as a 300-feet end-to-end field house to practice in during the winter. A renovated Varsity locker room is in the plans where the auxiliary weight room used to be.

“There have been discussions about our baseball facilities with the athletic department as well as the central office. They are aware of some of the shortcomings that our facility has, and I believe that those improvements are included on a long-term upgrade plan.”

The Tiger baseball facilities situation is getting its due consideration in the meantime although Manes and I did not discuss timelines and specific ideas. In the meantime, the space in the TRAC, and the indoor batting cages are off-season and inclement weather accoutrements the Tiger coach appreciates, playing the hand and his athletes are dealt.