Because water pipes burst in a room near the high school gym, East Clinton High School will end its home basketball seasons Friday night.
Athletic director Jeremy McGraw said senior night festivities for the boys and girls players and cheerleaders will be Friday night against Felicity. The schedule Friday will be 4:30 p.m. junior varsity boys game, followed by girls basketball senior night festivities. The varsity girls will play at approximately 6 p.m. After the girls game, the varsity boys basketball players and cheerleaders will have their senior night with the game against Felicity to follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.
“Then we’re shutting down the gym,” McGraw said. “The floor is being tore out.”
McGraw said an exact timeline for tearing out the gym floor has not been set but it should begin sometime this month. He has been told it is a six- to eight-week process. Playing on the floor Friday night is safe, McGraw said, but long-term use is not recommended.
The pipe burst on Dec. 26 in a storage room next to the gym floor. McGraw said nearly 10,000 gallons of water was unleashed on the gym floor and nearby hallway, streaming all the way to the entrance of the middle school gym.
McGraw said four upcoming home basketball games scheduled for ECHS have been moved to Wilmington’s Fred Summers Court. The girls games on Monday, Thursday and Jan. 21 are going to Wilmington while the boys game Jan. 13 also is moving to FSC.
All other home basketball games also will be moved. If McGraw is unable to find a location in this area, the games will be moved to the opponent’s home court.
“We have a couple calls out but no guarantees,” McGraw said.
The ability to move games next week to Wilmington was a major help, the East Clinton first-year athletic director said.
“Wilmington allowing us four games over there … I can’t thank Troy (Diels, the WHS athletic director) enough for what they are doing for us,” McGraw said. “That’s huge. That’s stress off us, to manage all these changes so quick.”
McGraw said East Clinton’s employees who work home games will have their normal roles at Wilmington. All East Clinton passes will be accepted at Wilmington, as well as any other location used for a relocated EC “home game.”
Home wrestling matches for the Astros will be moved to the East Clinton Middle School gym. Practices for the high school basketball teams will be held in the middle school, making for another schedule change headache. Add to that open gym sessions for spring athletic teams and practice schedules alone, worked around seventh and eighth grade game days, is cause for consternation.
“It’s really going to affect a lot of things,” McGraw said. “It’s going to be tough with our middle school (basketball) games still going on at home.”