Parry McCluer Upgrades Facilities

School Hires Athletic Trainer, Adds Sports Information Department

When Parry McCluer High School’s football team takes the field for the season-opener against Rock-bridge County on Friday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m., many might not recognize the place.

After performing a major overhaul on the gymnasium last year, including a new floor plan and stadium seating, the PM athletic department focused on the football field this past summer. Robert E. “Bobby” Williams Field now boasts a new scoreboard, made possible by a number of corporate sponsors, and the fence at the north end of the field now features logos of all of the Pioneer District schools, a feature that was donated by Everbrite in Buena Vista.

At the same time, the field itself is getting a facelift. Rock Haven Turf Specialties in Boones Mill has been hired to bring the field back to life, and preliminary work on the field has included new seeding and fertilization. The company will return to Buena Vista several times over the course of the next year to continue its transformation of the PM turf.

“We’re trying to make the field better for this year and even better for next year,” said new PM athletic director Mike Cartolaro. “I would rank us up there in the top five percent of Group A facilities, and this will help us to continue to improve.”

Cartolaro also said he hopes the gym and the football field are just the beginning of PM’s facilities upgrades. Plans are in the works now to improve the track, and he has designs on seeing lights on the baseball and softball fields in the near future.

“I think good facilities are the foundations for solid teams and bringing athletes out to participate,” Cartolaro said. “I hope it will allow us to play host to some big events as well.”

Tickets for each football game are $6 for adults and $2 for students and senior citizens. For season passes, see Cartolaro.

The improvement of the football field is not the only thing new in the PM athletic department, however. The Blues have created a sports information department and have for the first time hired a full-time athletic trainer.

The sports information department will be responsible for maintaining a presence on social media as well as working in conjunction with local media. The department has already created accounts with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and is currently working on overhauling the athletics website. The department will continuously update social media with announcements and results, and the website will feature stories of coaches and athletes that do not usually get told to the public.

Collin Sorrels is the new PM athletic trainer, the first ever to be an employee of Buena Vista City Public Schools. Sorrels, a 2013 graduate of PM, earned his athletic training degree from Radford University and spent the last two years working as the trainer at Eastern Montgomery High School.

“That’s certainly a big deal for us, for sure,” said Cartolaro. “We have needed a full-time trainer for a number of years.”

In addition to his athletic training duties, Sorrels will serve as an assistant to Cartolaro.

Bryan Loy and Mike McElroy will be assistant athletic directors, while Adam Gilbert will help with coverage as well.

As an added treat, JJ’s Meat Shak, the popular local restaurant has signed on to serve as the official concessions vendor at all PM athletic events this fall and winter. A complete menu can be found at the athletic website: https://pmhs.bvcps.net/sports/pmhs_athletics.

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