Board grapples with junior high wrestling
The Baldwin Junior High School administration would like to add another sport during the fall months.
Baldwin High School wrestling coach Kit Harris told the Baldwin Board of Education Monday night there was a lot of interest in starting a BJHS wrestling program.
The wrestling season would be from October to November, falling in between the BJHS football season and the BJHS basketball season.
Harris said there would be many advantages to starting a junior high program, especially once the wrestlers reached the high school level.
"We've had really good success at the high school level," he said. "This is just one more opportunity to further enhance that."
He said there are a number of youth who are currently wrestling. Between 40 and 60 youth wrestle in the Baldwin City Wrestling Club every year.
"They've had a lot of interest in youth wrestling," Harris said. "I think there will be sufficient interest in a junior high program because of their efforts."
Wrestling Club coach Tracy Potter said anyone would be able to compete as a wrestler.
"It doesn't matter how tall you are, how short you are, how much you weigh or your disabilities," Potter said. "There's no bench sitting. Anyone can wrestle."
Harris said boys wouldn't be the only ones who could wrestle.
"It's a male, female sport," he said.
Currently, the only schools in the Frontier League without a junior high wrestling program are Baldwin and Prairie View.
Harris said Baldwin would be able to compete is several matches against other Frontier League schools.
Startup costs wouldn't as big a concern as other sports, he said.
"Wrestling's a pretty inexpensive sport to start," he said.
The junior high would be able to use much of the high school equipment, he said, including the newly purchased wrestling mat.
The students, as well as the high school program, would benefit from the addition of junior high wrestling, Harris said.
"I think our program has really proven itself successful locally," he said. "To establish ourselves at the state level, this would really help.
"Wrestling is a great sport for any kid to do," he said, "and they learn a lot whether they win or lose."
Board president Ed Schulte said the program would be considered and a decision would be made in the next few months.
"When looking at a new program, it does take some time to review," Schulte said. "We'll be looking at budgets and financial information. We're considering what we're doing for sports, academics and fine arts. We have to make sure it all balances out."
In other business, the school board:
Accepted the resignation of Roger Arnold from the school board.
"After 13 and a half years, I just simply found I didn't have the energy or enthusiasm anymore. I was tired," Arnold said. "I didn't feel I could give the effort the school board or the school district deserved.
"I appreciate the years the patrons entrusted me, but I didn't feel I was giving them the energy that was needed," he said.
Arnold was a district position No. 1 representative. The board will fill the vacancy by appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term.
Heard from Supt. James White about the progression of the new facilities.
White said the final floor plan are being completed and everything is still on schedule to get bids out to contractors in March.
Will be compiling names to form a committee to help the board realign the board member districts.
White said the districts need to be realigned to equalize the number of registered voters deciding on board members to represent their districts.
Heard a report from the district's reading staff on its reading improvement program.
Heard a request for an in-town school bus route. The board said it would look into the request.
Heard a presentation from the afternoon Y.E.S. class. The 4-year-olds counted and sang, demonstrating how they learned their letters and numbers.
Approved the resignation of Karen Cain, BHS business teacher, and the employment recommendation of Gary Stevanus, BHS full-time substitute teacher.