Plaquemine High cuts ribbon on new girls field house
The number of athletes at Plaquemine High School – about 400 boys and girls – made it necessary for the school to build a new girls field house. Officials cut the ribbon on the facility last week.
“Back in 2015, our former principal, Chandler Smith, came up with an idea about trying to get a field house for the girls because the school was beginning to grow both in academics and athletics and the females had no place of their own,” said Peter Villier, girls athletic director and coach of the girls track team.
“The need arose over the last few years because of the sheer nuber of athletes we have now, both boys and girls, that there was not enough room,” Prinicipal Gina LoBue said. “Our boys had been taken care of for quite some time so our girls were definitely at the top of our wish list.”
“…We’re very excited that now they have their own place,” she continued later. “Now they’ll have somewhere to display all their trophies for their programs.”
“They’re very blessed and thankful that the School Board recognized the need and moved forward with the project,” LoBue said.
The new building was approved by the Iberville Parish School Board two years ago and construction began about a year ago. The building is not quite as large as the boys field house, but it is certainly sufficient for its need.
Plaquemine High has girls teams for softball, track, soccer, volleyball and since no more than two sports at a time overlap, the two locker rooms in the new field house are enough. One has 31 lockers while the other has 29.
“We have two locker rooms so based on the time of year it is and the sports being played, we’ll have room for both teams,” Villier said. “We’ll be rotating the locker rooms depending on the sports but any of the girls are free to use the locker room whenever they want.”
The athletic director said having a weight room exclusively for the female students was likely the biggest advantage of the new field house.
“There was never time for the girls to use the boys weight room because it was always in use,” he said. “Now we have more space to be able to do more things for all of our athletes.”
Villier, a former college and professional football player, said he believed the new field house was not only a good idea, but a necessity.
“It’s a good thing for the female athletes because if you’re going to grow a program, you’ve got to get those students into the weight room,” he said. “The weight room is where it starts.”
“The Xs and Os are good but if you not building for conditioning and strength, like the other programs are doing, you’re not going to be able to compete on the same level,” Villier said.
“Being as that we’re trying to make our girls sports program an elite athletic program, this is one of the tools that’s going to help that happen,” he said.