By Richard Mejia
In the world of sports, names are everything.
Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are instantly recognized names of the most celebrated athletes in their sports.
Names of individual people aren’t the only important names in sports. The arenas, stadiums and fields share equal importance.
Legendary sporting venues such as Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field in Chicago or the Coliseum in Los Angeles each have a vast and rich history of being home to successful sporting franchises.
At LBCC, we are fortunate to have an array of championship-caliber teams. More specifically, the volleyball programs are some of the best in the state.
The women’s volleyball program has won an impressive six South Coast Conference championships and is always in playoff contention.
The men’s volleyball program is one of the most decorated Community College teams in the state, boasting sixteen conference titles and eight state championships.
A team that is in playoff contention or winning championship deserves to play in venue that recognizes their feats.
With bodies scrambling to the hardwood floor and a standing room only crowd cheering, the LBCC volleyball program ferociously dominates its competition in the “Small Gym.”
Yes, the secondary athletic facility located directly across from the Hall of Champions gymnasium is simply called the Small Gym.
Given the plethora of coaches, athletes and influential staff the school has had over its near century in existence, none of these people have been given the honor to christen the action-packed gym.
The Dr. Thomas J. Clark Gym, Bill Fraser Memorial Gym, or perhaps the Eloy Ortiz Oakley Gym would be more than suitable replacements for the currently mediocre name.
The main facility for indoor sporting events is the Hall of Champions Gym. The gym pays homage to the players and coaches who are in the LBCC sporting hall of fame known as the Hall of Champions.
However, considering the elite level of play that occurs at the Small Gym, there is more than enough reason to accept it as an equal to the Hall of Champions. Perhaps the gym is forgotten about. Maybe the school cannot fund a few big letters on a small building.
Whatever the reason may be, it is indeed time for a change. LBCC is one of the premier Community Colleges in terms of sports and its winning volleyball programs deserve to play in a properly named gym.
A great team with great fans deserves a great venue. A name change may seem insignificant, but in the world of sports, names are everything.