[This is the second post in a series titled “Gym tour: 2013-14” — click here to see all the posts in this series — in which I will profile the gymnasiums I travel to while covering high school sports.]
FORT RECOVERY, Ohio — This installment of the #SchanzGymTour takes me over to Fort Recovery, Ohio and Fort Recovery High School.
Fort Recovery is one of the three schools in the coverage area of The Commercial Review, and although it doesn’t get the coverage as Jay County High School, I still try and cover games if JCHS has no home games or the weather forces contests to be canceled.
Fort Recovery High School, located in northwest Ohio’s Mercer County — the eastern neighbor to Jay County — opened its doors in 1868 in the village of Fort Recovery.
With purple and white as its school colors and its mascot as the Indians, FRHS is home to the Fort Site Fieldhouse, where the Tribe plays its home boys and girls basketball games as well as girls volleyball.
Fort Recovery joined the Midwest Athletic Conference in 1978, six years after the MAC’s inception, and has since won four conference championships in boys basketball (most recent in the 2011-12 season) and four girls basketball conference titles, including a run of three straight from 1988-91, which was also the school’s most recent MAC title.
Three state championship basketball teams have called the Fort Site Fieldhouse home, with the boys winning the 1971 state championship, and the girls winning back-to-back titles in 1990-91. In 2011, the Tribe girls were state finalists, and the Fort boys were state runners-up in 1999.
Additionally, the FRHS volleyball team won a state title in 1990, with a majority of the girls helping out on the 1990-91 state champion girls hoops team.
Fort Site Fieldhouse has an official capacity of 2,025, which is sixth largest in the the 10-team Midwest Athletic Conference. The Palace in Coldwater, Ohio, is the largest MAC gymnasium, with a capacity of 2,375.
Many athletes from Fort Recovery and Jay County grew up competing against one another, and the two communities are closely intertwined, with many having friends and family across the state line. Some Jay County residents work in Fort Recovery, and vice versa.
The main baskets at the Fort Site Fieldhouse are on the north and south ends of the gym with the majority of the seating on the east and west sidelines.
There is additional seating on the north end of the gym, generally reserved for the Fort Recovery student section. Balcony seating on the east and west sides make up a big portion of the seating capacity at the Fieldhouse.
Scoreboards are located on the northeast and southwest corners of the gym. The south end also has a retractable American flag, with dimensions roughly 20×30 feet. Also on the south end is a painting of the Fort Recovery mascot as well as banners of all of the MAC member schools.
Flags depicting all of the school’s titles are on the north end, with the state championship banners hanging from the south end rafters.
The biggest game I have had the chance to cover so far in this young basketball season was Dec. 28 between FRHS and state-line rival Jay County. The arena was nearly packed full for the Indians’ 42-34 win over the visiting Patriots.
As of this post, the Fort Recovery girls team is 6-6 (0-4 MAC) and the boys boast a 9-2 (3-0) record and are riding a five-game win streak.