Glesenkamp, Big Walnut AD, expects another exciting fall for Golden Eagles
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Big Walnut High School Athletic Director Steve Glesenkamp was in his office last week preparing for the high school’s fall sports season. He said that some sports had lost key team members to graduation over the past two years and are rebuilding, other sports have mature teams coming online for the 2012–13 school year.
Glesenkamp said that cycle is typical of high school athletics, but with the Big Walnut area’s youth teams teaching fundamentals and the middle school athletic programs focusing on teaching from high school playbooks and coaching expectations, he’s expecting an exciting fall season.
“We have a lot of continuity with head coaches coming back, and that’s a good thing,” Glesenkamp said. “The down side is last fall’s weather was very hard on all our fields, there was so much standing water, but we didn’t have any choice but to use them. They’ll take several years to completely repair. The good news is, they’re on the mend.”
Big Walnut football fans are looking forward to the newly-refurbished Big Walnut High School Stadium football field. During the spring new drainage was installed, the field was re-graded with a one percent grade crown from the center of the field to the sidelines, a ground-water system was installed, and the field reseeded.
“Various companies contracted to do parts of the job,” Glesenkamp said. “We budgeted $101,000, but came in at $87,200. We’re one of the last teams in the OCC (Ohio Capital Conference) to have an in-ground watering system on the football field. It takes two to three years for the grass to grow deep roots, so we’ll have to reseed in the fall and spring.”
Glesenkamp said the high school football field had not been re-graded and re-crowned, new drainage installed, and reseeded since the 1960’s. And considering the cost of installing and maintaining artificial turf, the high school is fortunate to have a serviceable grass football field.
“We’re going to see changes in the OCC Capital Division’s eight teams,” Glesenkamp said. “Hilliard Bradley is leaving, Olentangy is coming in. That’s a big change. And in 2013–14 in the Capital Division, Watkins Memorial is leaving to join the Licking County League and Worthington Kilbourne is coming in. In our division that’s big news on the horizon.”
Glesenkamp said Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament affiliations would remain the same as last year; that every two years the numbers are reviewed to determine whether a school is in Division I, Division II or Division III.
“We’re still Division II in football and right now boys and girls tracks are our only Division I sports,” Glesenkamp said. “We’re right on the edge (in football). When we bump up to Division I we will be one of the smallest schools in the division – but it’s all about the numbers.”
Glesenkamp said it doesn’t matter what division Big Walnut is in; that he’s confident Big Walnut student-athletes will have a season they can be proud of.
“A Big Walnut team can be in a rebuilding year or fielding a mature team, in the classroom or on the field and court, our student athletes give it their best and they never give up,” Glesenkamp said. “I’m looking forward to a great fall sports season and school year.”