GREENVILLE – Greenville Athletic Director, Aaron Shaffer along with Jeff Martin, Greenville Assistant Athletic Director and Greenville Senior High School Principal, Stan Hughes spent a big part of their Friday at The Jennings Center Track & Field Complex assembling two large regulation size soccer nets giving the school two regulation size soccer fields complete with goals.
“It’s a beautiful day and we are trying to provide good opportunities for our kids to come out and play sports,” Hughes said. “We haven’t done that for quite a long time based on some of the issues that have been happening in the world and we are just trying to make it happen today.”
“One of the things that make us and a lot of school districts work is that we all work together,” Shaffer stated. “There are going to be times where Mr. Hughes will need me to do something during a school day that may not be athletically related, it might be helping them with getting kids in and out of the building, it might be if there is an emergency situation I have duties in that way.”
“Mr. Hughes does a great job of being very supportive. He is at everything and he knows it takes more than just a handful of people to get a job done. Whatever needs to be done we’re going to do it because at the end of the day doing these things allows our kids to do what they want to do and allows them to have a good experience while they’re with our schools.”
“We are getting our soccer goals up here at the Jennings Center,” continued Shaffer. “Our soccer teams occasionally will be using it for some training. We had some plans and may still have some plans for some of our young youth kids to play soccer out this way. We have had some communication with the Pee Wee football guys.”
With COVID-19 shutting down spring sports, the new Jennings Center has been sitting idle allowing the natural turf to thicken and mature without the normal spring athletic season’s wear and tear.
“The grass has come in nice,” noted Coach Shaffer. “It’s nice and thick. The rain we’ve had lately really got it growing again. Even though it’s irrigated, that water certainly helped and the field is in great shape.”
“We’ve been able to fix some of the irregularities in the field,” Shaffer added. “Now we are getting the goals up so our kids have a regulation field to practice their skills on whenever they’re able to play.”
Coach Shaffer took time to share the added benefits of The Jennings Center.
“Our boys and girls high school soccer teams have been practicing out here a couple nights a week,” Shaffer said. “We still do play a few (football) games even though our league is mostly (artificial) turf. We still play a few games on grass and being on a nice regulation field that is smooth with good grass for our kids to train on is fantastic.”
“I would imagine at some point when our football team goes to Troy and Fairborn, weeks when we have to go on the road and get on the grass they will want to spend some time out here on a nice field,” continued Shaffer, “so just getting it to a point where we are ready to have it fully functional as a multi-purpose facility, not just a track but an athletic field too.”
“What else would we rather be doing than spending time with two people you want to spend time with,” Martin said. “Watching the kids compete – that’s what it’s about. It is a matter of getting our youngsters back to what they want to do and what is a sense of normalcy for them, that’s what we want.”
“It’s great to have the help and what would I rather be doing, sitting at my desk or outside in the sun on an athletic field,” Shaffer said of his administrative staff help. “That is part of that AD job – getting goals together and making sure our coaches and kids have what they need is a huge part of that.”
“Just excited to have kids in and around the campus,” Hughes concluded as 2020 fall sports are taking shape at Greenville City Schools.”
PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R) Greenville Athletic Director Aaron Shaffer, Assistant AD Jeff Martin and Greenville Senior High School Principal Stan Hughes assemble two regulation size soccer goals at The Jennings Center Track & Field Complex. (Gaylen Blosser photo)