In the Cheap Seats

By BOBBY " BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Feb. 1, 2007 - There's no running in the halls at school, unless you run track for Sulphur Springs.

With no indoor practice facility to use like athletes at other neighboring schools, tracksters at Sulphur Springs have been reporting for workouts before sunrise - and using the halls of SSHS to get in their laps.

The track at SSMS is in such poor shape that high school track coaches are limiting the amount of time their athletes use it for fear of shin splints and other injuries. With no indoor facility to practice in and with morning temperatures below freezing, the tracksters have been using the concrete floors of the high schools to get in their work.

The track athletes have been coming in the mornings to avoid conflicts with baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer and boys and girls basketball, which all practice after school.

Hopefully, part of the problem will be relieved this spring when the SSISD Board of Trustees considers bids to build a new track adjacent to the high school. It's desperately needed. If you don't think so, just take a walk or run at the SSMS track - just beware of the tri-level crack on the south end.

Patching the old track is not a long-term solution, it will end up costing about the same as building something new, and it won't solve the problem of bussing SSHS students to the track for workouts. Just as importantly, a new track will give the athletes something to be proud of, facility-wise, and Sulphur Springs will be able to host a real track meet for the first time in 25 years.

SSISD taxpayers voted down a proposition in 2005 to build a new indoor practice facility, which right now could be used by boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track. That's a shame, because Texas High, North Lamar, Quinlan Ford, Paris, Greenville and Royse City, to name just a few, have found support for those facilities.

A new track won't cost as much, but it's just as needed. I know a lot of planning and information-gathering has gone into getting the bids for the new track, and starting construction this spring will have it ready to use by next year's track season.

Let's get back to a school where there is no need to run in the halls.

SUPER BOWL TRIVIA - It's true that the day after the Super Bowl is the No. 1 day of the year for workers to call in sick.

COACH NOMINEES - Here are a few names Jerry Jones needs to consider when going through his search for a new head coach for the Cowboys:

Taylor Hicks - A mediocre American Idol for a mediocre America's Team.

Hillary Clinton - The drawback would be that Hillary wouldn't call a play until she had taken a poll to see what what the voters favor. Just make sure to keep Slick Willie away from the cheerleaders.

EXXON executives - After posting the biggest profit in corporate history, EXXON bigwigs certainly are adept at pulling off trick plays. With them figuring the final score, the Cowboys will never lose. Just don't let them rename the team "The Valdez."

Jessica Simpson - She could sing the national anthem, coach the team during the game, perform with the cheerleaders, star in NFL Films, and she already has a relationship with Tony Romo.

Jack Baur - The "24" star would kick some tail, but if it takes him six months to get through one 24-hour day, how long would a game last?

Sammy Sosa - So good at cheating, Sosa could fill the footballs with helium, put oil on the other team's gloves and invite Tom Hicks down on the sidelines with Jerry Jones to watch the chicanery.

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