A Summer Face Lift for the Cave
The Cave, home to the Mishawaka Cavemen basketball and volleyball teams and the Al Smith Wrestling Invitational, has been the setting of much history since its completion in 1924. MHS students have won sectionals, performed the arts, graduated and celebrated in this structure for nearly 100 years. Renovations have taken place over the last couple of years to ensure the Cave will tell the stories of MHS students for another century. The most recent upgrade occurred this summer. The gym walls received a splash of fresh paint with a caveman logo added to the east wall above the bleachers and the floor received an update. The floor was sanded down, refinished and rebranded with a design created by MHS student Bailey Davis .
Davis is a senior AP art and graphic design student chosen by the athletic department after a recommendation from Art department chair Ryan Seargent. “Dean [Huppert] and the athletic department came to me personally around the end of July and I was already working as the graphic designer for the athletics office,” said Davis. “I felt honored… I didn’t think that they would choose little old me to do such a big project in such a short amount of time. I was surprised about how much they really revered me to do this project for them.”
‘Mishawaka Cavemen’ now lines the sides of the gym and down at the right side of the floor, the signature Caveman and ‘est.1924’ underneath. “I did anywhere between eight to 13 designs,” said Davis, “It was decided that a big factor was the big M in the middle instead of saying The Cave and they really wanted to emphasize the establishment of the cave in the early 1900’s, so  was placed diagonally across each other on the court- established 1924, Mishawaka Cavemen, The Cave.”
While the floor is something new to look at, it is also inspiring, creating a lot of pride. “When I first saw the floor, I was with Dean Huppert right after one of the local news station did a live stream on FaceBook and I walked in and all I saw was my design totally glossed onto the basketball court and I got teary-eyed because I never knew that something that I created could become a permanent part of something that is so big in our whole city,” said Davis. Varsity Basketball Head Coach Ron Hecklinski said, “It builds excitement...when your facilities look first class, it kind of permeates throughout the programs.” Hecklinski continued,“I’ve been involved in a lot of basketball programs throughout the state of Indiana and the country and I’ve seen great floors, but this floor is second to none. I think it makes the gym stand out and it’s the oldest gym in Indiana but it’s just really cool.”