EXETER — For the past several seasons, Wyoming Area tennis coach Tiffany Callaio was never sure where her team would compete.
The Wyoming Area tennis courts located on Boston Avenue, adjacent to Anthony “Jake” Sobeski Stadium, have been in dire need of a renovation for quite some time. That left Callaio and school officials wondering if it was possible to host home tennis matches.
Those questions have been answered just two weeks prior to the start of the fall season.
Callaio was informed on Wednesday the courts were deemed “too dangerous” by the school’s architect and the team would not be able to compete on the courts. Callaio will meet with Athletic Director Joe Pizano, Principal Vito Quaglia and other school officials on Aug. 5 to determine where to go from here.
“I know the courts have been a topic of discussion lately,” Callaio said. “We have to have that meeting and talk about different things.”
Callaio said the courts, which are typically open to the public, may be locked following that meeting. She has been the Wyoming Area coach for four years. Her father, Tony, coached the team for the four years prior to that. The court condition has been an issue for the majority of the Callaio tenure.
Because of cracks in the court, only one of the four courts is playable. Last fall, the girls hosted home matches there, playing on three of the four courts. The inability to fully utilize the space caused matches last much longer than normal. Last season, the girls finished 11-2 and made the District 2 team playoffs for the first time in school history.
Two years ago, the boys team practiced on the Pittston Area courts, located on the Intermediate Center grounds in Hughestown but played all of its matches on opponents’ courts. Something similar to that will have to be done again this season, Callaio said.
Just two weeks prior to the first official fall sports practice, logistics must be worked out for Wyoming Area to field its girls tennis team.
Callaio has reached out to Pittston Area tennis coach Amanda Wascavich about practice schedules and matches. The tennis season is a short one — it runs from Aug. 31 through Sept. 30. The teams play about three matches per week. When both teams have a home match, however, that could be an issue.
Transportation to Hughestown will also be a concern. With home matches, buses are not provided. However, Callaio said some of the girls volunteered to drive to the Pittston Area courts.
“Two years ago, we did that,” Callaio said. “It worked out OK. The girls have to find a ride over there.”
In 2013, the team formed the Wyoming Area Tennis Boosters in hopes of raising money to help resurface the courts. Currently, there is approximately 400 to 500 feet of cracks in the courts. It was estimated in 2013 the cost of a renovation would be upwards of $200,000.
The last time the courts were resurfaced was following the Agnes Flood of 1972.
“My biggest concern is they are going to close them and make them a parking lot,” Callaio said. “These are community-used. We’ll try our best to make sure something can be done. We’ll know more on Wednesday.”
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick