It’s a squeaky new beginning In Glenwood Springs
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Glenwood Springs High School Athletic Director Steve Cable sat in the front row of the Demon-red bleachers in the new GSHS gymnasium Friday evening as the junior varsity boys battled Rifle.
The new gym saw a full slate of games, both varsity and junior varsity.
It was the first time shoes squeaked on the new hardwood floors for a game. It was also the beginning of a new era for GSHS basketball.
“You gonna bring the (championship) banners over from the old gym?” a spectator asked Cable.
“Oh yeah, we still have some work to do yet,” Cable affirmed. “We’ll bring all that stuff over.”
The players sat in the old black and red chairs they’ve used for years while crowds filled the never-before-used bleachers. Even the old score table was in use at Friday’s game. Little pieces of the old Chavez-Spencer Gym scattered among the refreshing new era of Demon Basketball.
The old gym was named for two legendary Demon coaches Bob Chavez and Harlan Spencer.
The little details missing from the new gym were overshadowed by the fresh paint and bright new lights illuminating the lacquered floor as though it was covered in glass.
Cable said the best thing about the new gym is the size. With a seating capacity around 1,450 the new gym adds about 300 more seats, while increasing the court by 12 feet, baseline to baseline.
“The other court wasn’t regulation,” Cable said. “It was about 78 feet from end to end.”
With the bleachers put away in the new house, there is enough room for two regulation courts for teams to practice on.
“This is more 2008,” Cable said.
Cable estimated the Chavez-Spencer Gym has housed basketball games at the school since the school was first built in 1953.
“It’s a lot more exciting than the other gym,” said GSHS varsity forward Donnie Jennert prior to his game.
Jennert looked forward to playing under the new lights.
“The old gym felt more claustrophobic,” Jennert said. “Just the darkness and the slippery floors. It had a more homey feel to it, but this gym will bring the basketball program into the modern era.”
But it wasn’t the lighting that freshmen girls coach Craig Amichaux was thinking about.
“I’ll be interested to see what the sound is like when it’s packed,” Amichaux said.
Amichaux played basketball in the old gym during his high school days. He was a member of the 1984 championship team whose banner still hangs in the shadows of the rafters in the old gym.
“The old gym was great in the aspect of noise,” Amichaux said. “I don’t know if the new one will be as loud, but we’ll see.”
The dim lights lit the Chavez-Spencer gym, now the school’s auxiliary gym, while cheerleaders practiced during Friday’s JV game. It will continue to be used for practice and other activities. Its legacy won’t soon be forgotten. And Amichaux will still get to play around on his old stomping grounds.
“It’s time for the new gym,” Amichaux said. “The other one has some issues, but it will still see some games played. It’s just time for a new one.”
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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Imagine Glenwood and The City of Glenwood Springs is slated to host a virtual town hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11.