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New Year, New Look: Donation Delivers New Padding in Ava High Gym

From left, Ava High School Assistant Principal Nathan Houk, Athletic Director Rex Sawyer, Town & Country Senior Vice-President Sheldon Shaver, and boys basketball coach Damon Seiger stand next to the new gym padding inside the high school gym on December 19, 2019, in Ava, Missouri. (Jason Hoekema/Herald)

By Jason Hoekema

The Ava Bears and Lady Bears athletic programs received an early Christmas present to ring-out the end of 2019 and bring in a new look for 2020.

Thanks to the generosity of the local Town & Country Bank branch and the assistance of the branch’s Senior Vice President, Sheldon Shaver, the Bears’ gymnasium has new padding on the far end of the court to protect home and visiting athletes from injury.

The pads cover the edge of the stage and were previously provided by Town & Country Bank, but time had weathered their appearance and effectiveness. 

But a replacement was not all. 

New padding was installed to either side of the stage displaying the blue, gold, and white Bear logo the school adopted.

The gym was built sometime in the 1960’s and still flaunts some of its original character with a wooden wall running along the home-side of the court. 

That now has a special clinging decal adding modern flare and the feel of an athletics program, not just a team.

A new decal has covered the wooden paneling on the home-side of the court, part of changes made possible by Town & Country Bank and Senior Vice-President Sheldon Shaver. (Jason Hoekema/Herald)

The gym floor reflects the changes made possible by Town & Country Bank branch Senior Vice President Sheldon Shaver. (Jason Hoekema/Herald)