T.J. Snyder had an inkling there could be trouble before heading to Desert Vista’s campus.
Fallen trees, seemingly, every other house is a pretty good clue.
“My wife and I went out for a bite and when I saw all the trees down I figured we’d better go take a look,” the school's athletic director said. “We got here and I couldn’t believe it. It looked like a war zone.”
The new scoreboard at Desert Vista was delivered and put up in time for the Thunder’s home opener on Friday against North.
The rest of the sport complexes are still being attended to with the main gym being the biggest problem since the mid-July microburst that wreaked havoc to the campus and the surrounding homes.
The gym floor wasn’t ready for the fall indoor sports — badminton and girls volleyball — when the season got under way last week.
During the microburst one of the four air vents on the roof was ripped off and flooded the floor through the gaping hole. Many of the gym floor boards, especially in the center of the court by the logo, warped after the flooding.
They’ve drained countless gallons of water and workers are still trying to make sure the area is completely rid of moisture before repairing it. Snyder said the completion of the floor should be done on Sept. 23.
The holdup has forced juggled practice schedules, the loss of home matches and frustration.
“It’s been very disruptive,” said Thunder volleyball coach Molly West, who had to have tryouts at the Spiral Volleyball complex in Tempe. “The teams are handling it well. It’s affected the location of our practices, the time of practices, and we missed days due to no place to practice.”
The team moved Tuesday’s match against Chaparral to an away game.
“We have altered our schedule due to the gym,” West said. “We have 10 matches away and seven at home. It’s definitely skewed.”
The badminton team also has changed things up and Desert Vista coach Jeremy Williams is very grateful for everyone’s patience.
“It has been a challenge, but we work with great administration, staff, and coaches,” Williams said. “Molly West, along with her players and staff, have been amazing. Their flexibility and unselfishness are what has allowed us to continue our training program.
“It has also been a learning moment for our players. It is very important to stay positive and work as a team when challenges arise.”
West, who has been the Thunder head coach in 1995, agreed the situation could help prepare the team for an unforeseen situation that might pop up later in the season.
“The teams are adapting and doing well,” she said. “We are looking at it as a positive. It is forcing us to get uncomfortable and something we can learn from with hopes of being prepared for anything in front us.”
The rest of the damage — the softball scoreboard, the tennis courts, the baseball outfield fence — involve winter and spring sports so the time frame to get things done isn’t as rushed.
“It’s one of those things you can’t help,” Snyder said last week. “Everything is slowly falling into place.”
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