MARSHALL-On Monday, Marshall High School Activities Director Bruce Remme welcomed a few hundred athletes to a new school year in the high school auditorium. One of the first things Remme said was to, “thank your coaches.” While Marshall coaches deserve tremendous amounts of gratitude, don’t forget those who make sure the courts and the fields are in fantastic condition, like custodian Jaime Rekedal.

Rekedal was busy moving around tables in the cafeteria early in his shift on Monday afternoon. Even though he had a lot to do, he was jovial and laughed even while talking about floor wax.

We walked into the South Gym, which had three paper signs taped to the door signifying that it was closed to the general public.

The volleyball team was practicing in the North Gym. This one was empty. The lights were dim. It smelled like paint thinner.

Rekedal and the rest of the custodial staff spent this past week scraping, sanding, sweeping, scrubbing, and spreading Hillyard 1907 Gym Finish to get both gyms sparkling for a season of sneaker scuffs and schoolyard sweat. They do it every summer.

He admitted that he doesn’t “follow the sports much,” but he still was invested in making sure that MHS looked good for all the students, teachers, and staff. Even though the gym looked like it was perfect hosting condition already, he noticed a small patch on the the floor that needed to be fixed. “The other gym looks better,” he said.

However, the buildings and grounds crew didn’t stop with the high school gym. “We went from top to bottom and from one end to the other,” said Warren Buchholz, the Building and Grounds Supervisor for Marshall Public Schools. There was mowing, weeding, spraying, fixing, painting, moving, and many other verbs that high school students probably groan at when requested to do by their parents.

Buchholz wanted students to remember that the buildings and grounds crew “doesn’t get a summer vacation.”

A good team works in such a way that allows for every member to function at their best. I have no doubt that each Marshall coach has that in mind as the fall season starts.

However, don’t forget that there are other elite teams at work here here in Marshall.

So, if you see Rekedal, Buchholz, or any other member of the building and grounds staff, thank them. They make sure you have the foundation to function at your best.