MOORE — For six months coach Tim Gray has been without a home. His Moore High girls basketball team have been displaced from the schools gymnasium and they do not know when they will be allowed back in.
“We were told the beginning of school or maybe a couple of weeks into the school year,” Gray said. “Then we heard through the grapevine maybe Oct. 1st, then we were told Nov. 1st, last we heard there really is no set completion date. So we will just do our best.”
The gymnasium at Moore has been under renovation since the end of May as a new air condition was installed. That entailed tearing out the entire ceiling and closing down the gym to all activities.
“There have been a couple of different dates but anyone that knows construction and remodeling understands dates are just that. We want our gym and schedule to be normal again,” MHS boys coach Aaron Howell said. “But I know Moore Public Schools is going to make sure we are safe and everything is done correctly. I am in full appreciation of that.”
The wrestling team and volleyball teams have also had their season’s disrupted as work has progressed throughout the year.
Gray and Howell have had a difficult time getting their teams ready for the upcoming prep seasons without knowing where they will be practicing. But because two coaches have worked together, it’s made the situation a little easier.
“Coach Howell has been extremely gracious and giving,” Gray said. “We have been able to work out a schedule that lets both of us utilize what we have. We may have to share time in a gym or weight room, but it has worked out. I think the situation we were dealt, is just one of those things. You just do the best with what you have where you are at.”
But that hasn’t solved all of the problems the teams are having to deal with.
“We were having to transport our girls to a junior high twice a week, switching with the boys,” Gray said. “Now we alternate the small gym, and the main floor when they are clean enough to have practices. When Oct. 1st came around we went to Central and practiced with our Junior High girls. We have moved all scrimmages to opponents gyms for the pre season.
“The toughest part is not necessarily not having a gym, but not knowing what the next day or week holds,” Gray continued. “We couldn’t do any planning. We had to cancel our ‘Opening Night’ which is a big fundraiser for our booster club. Some days we had to cancel practice or move workouts. But eventually, this too shall pass and we will move on with the business of playing games and trying to help young people achieve their goals.
“It’s all part of a bigger picture, Moore is trying to make improvements to facilities and this is part of it. We just appreciate being part of the improvements.”
The Lions are scheduled to open their season at home Nov. 27 against Edmond Memorial. Gray hopes they will be able to play the game on their own floor. But he’s not sure if that will be possible or not.
“We really have not been told very much, we are just hoping for the best and planning on playing games,” Gray said. “Each day is something new. It’s a challenge, but our program is going to focus on the positive. We are getting some upgrades in a 60 year old facility. We know we are gonna play games some place regardless, so we are working to be able to compete. It’s an inconvenience but we have a team, we have some basketballs, and we have a gym sometimes, so we do what we can. These kids are worth the extra effort.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org