Archive for Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Baseball misses goal, program to begin in 2002

January 10, 2001

There will be a baseball team at Baldwin High School next year.

A request to begin the season this spring was narrowly defeated, with three school board members voting in favor of a quick start, two nay-sayers and an abstention, which counts as a negative vote. With one school board member absent, four votes were required to pass.

"I think we are really rushing it," said board member Lonnie Broers. "Five thousand dollars for coaches is a lot of money for 5-10 games. It's a lot to do in a short period of time."

A motion to begin the sport in 2002 passed 5-1, with the one negative vote being an abstention.

A group calling themselves Parents for Baseball followed in the footsteps of a successful campaign to start a football program at Baldwin Junior High School. Parents agreed to raise the start-up cost of the sport and contribute to equipment costs for several years after the first season. Parents for Baseball was prepared to contribute $6,500 for the start-up cost, and requested the sport to begin this year.

The group brought the subject to the board in November. The subject was on the school board agenda again in December and this month. Board members were concerned about the availability of bus transportation, games and budget. The school district's share would be about $7,000.

Supt. James White said transportation could be arranged. Roger O'Neil, district activities director, said six games could be secured with Wellsville, Eudora and Burlington. And he thought he could come up with a 10-game season. A regulation season has a maximum of 20 games. However, O'Neil recommended holding off another year.

Parents attending the meeting said seniors could have the opportunity to play this year and be eligible for college scholarships.

"We think adding baseball makes since athletically and academically," said Paul Vander Tuig, spokesman for the group.

When the vote for adding the sport this spring failed, a motion to add the sport next year at a reduced cost to the parents group was made and failed. Board member Chris Ogle said the board policy for adding a sport needs to stay consistent. Finally, a motion for the parents group to pay $6,000 the original request from the district passed 5-1.

Board member Curtis Trarbach abstained from the voting, explaining that he was not ready to support the motions without a full board discussion. Board president Ed Schulte arrived late to the meeting after being in Kearney, Neb., and was not present for the vote.

The board set a June 1 deadline for the parents to raise $6,000. The group was prepared to raise the money by Feb. 15, and several disappointed faces parents and students walked away from the meeting.

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