By Travis Smola
If you were at the last wrestling or girls’ basketball game before winter break, you may have noticed part of the Vicksburg high school gym was blocked off.
That’s because a human-error incident resulted in major damage to the visitor bleachers. Athletic Director Michael Roy said normal protocols were somehow circumvented when the bleachers were extended with the side basketball hoops still in a downward position.
The hoops were bent dramatically by the seats, but things got worse when the seats were brought back in. The hoops caught the seats and prevented the middle seats from retracting back into the wall. It also built up a dangerous amount of tension.
The school ended up cancelling boys’ basketball games against Portage Northern because of concerns of plastic shrapnel from the seats being thrown across the gym if the tension were to release suddenly.
A bleacher maintenance company eventually came in to safely alleviate the potentially dangerous situation. It ended up having to break out large sections of the plastic seats where the hoops were caught to release the tension.
More than the hoops that were damaged. Much of the internal mechanics of the underside of the bleachers and steps and seating were also heavily damaged.
Costs and a timeline for repairs aren’t known exactly at this point.
The boys’ game against Portage Northern meanwhile has been rescheduled for February 27.