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Sports cuts likely for MVSD 244

— “I would like to have anyone who says our coaching policy is unfair here right now,” said Mountain View School District 244 Superintendent Kent Stokes. “This is not easy and it’s never fun to cut kids. No coach likes that.”

Stokes spoke at the regular school board meeting July 20 where the full board and nine audience members spent more than an hour discussing the district’s policy – or lack thereof – concerning team sport cuts.

Sports cuts will occur in Mountain View School District 244 if more than the allotted number of participants for each activity tries out, the board voted.

The discussion was started last month when it was brought up the incoming freshman class at Grangeville High School will bring a large group of students – especially girls – to GHS sports.

“What is our cut policy here and what does the IHSAA [Idaho High School Activities Association] say about it?” asked trustee Mike Dominguez of Kooskia.

Stokes said the district does not have a policy and GHS athletic director Matt Dame added the IHSAA leaves it to the discretion of the district and its coaches.

“We live in a world where kids feel entitled – it should be those who show up and work hard who deserve to play,” said parent Bridget Barela of Grangeville.

Her husband, Steve, added that sports can sometimes be a “social event,” for girls.

“A cut policy might weed out those who are only there for the social aspect and encourage players to work harder,” he said.

Board members Sally Nolan of Mt. Idaho and Rebecca Warden of Grangeville both questioned a cut policy and erred on the side of “the more participation the better.”

“It’s a real slippery slope to make blanket cut numbers,” Nolan said.

“Either we decide to put the money out for a fourth team – and it’s already difficult to find c team games – or we give our coaches some guidance and let them do what they need to do to have manageable team sizes,” Dame said.

GHS head volleyball coach Kelcey Edwards said he would work with whatever the board decided and answered a question regarding how teams are chosen.

“It’s something all three coaches do – not just one coach,” he said. “It’s based on skill, attitude and several other factors. It’s not that anyone would ever be cut or put on a different team because we don’t like someone. That’s just not how it works.”

In the end, after a lengthy dialogue, the board voted unanimously to fund no more than three teams each for volleyball and basketball (varsity, junior varsity and c teams) and no more than two teams for football (varsity and junior varsity). The board also set up a committee, headed by Dominguez, to meet with school athletic directors and coaches to work on a policy that sets maximum numbers for each sport.

In other news, the board reorganized and voted to retain Lot Smith of Grangeville as chair. Dominguez was voted in as vice-chair while Warden was chosen as legislative representative. Along with Nolan, the board is rounded out by new member, Casey Smith of Clearwater.

Cole McPherson of Kooskia addressed the board about his property, which runs adjacent to Clearwater Valley High School.

“We are in need of extra footage from the river to be able to put a septic tank in,” he said. He has about 220 feet and needs 300.

McPherson suggested a trade of work on another area of property in exchange for a piece he would need to have the extra footage.

“I am not sure we can even do that, legally,” Smith said.

The board looked at the drawing McPherson had and said they would meet with their attorney and get back to McPherson in a “timely manner.”

District maintenance personnel Ty Reuter reported his crew has been “working hard,” at getting schools in shape for the coming year.

“At Grangeville we have painted the classrooms and will be working on the offices next,” he said. “It’s been really busy but things are looking good.”

Stokes added he appreciates the crew’s work and his goal is to maintain the district’s facilities.

“We don’t need new buildings – we just need to take care of what we have,” he said.


Did you know:

According to the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA), 45,524 students participated in IHSAA sanctioned sports in Idaho in 2014-15. Of those, 56 percent were boys and 44 percent were girls.

The 10 most popular sports for boys were: football (7,475); track (4,203); basketball (3,561); baseball (2,377); wrestling (2,219); soccer (1,960); cross country (1,682); tennis (1,0171); golf (960); and cheerleading (138).

For girls: volleyball (3,601); track (3,164); basketball (2,976); softball (2,110); soccer (1,982); cross country (1,391); cheerleading (1,349); tennis (1,052); dance (694); and golf (515).

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