Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2004

BHS soccer has foot in door

July 15, 2004

There just could be another sport make its way to the varsity level at Baldwin High School. The Baldwin School Board will probably decide the fate of soccer at BHS at the August meeting.

"It's a possibility," said Cindy Trarbach, who has been working for years on creating Bulldog soccer. "It's not a done deal. We'll be on for the next board meeting and they'll decide."

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Trarbach and Ruth Barkley were at Monday's school board meeting and updated members on where the effort is at. For any new sport in the past, parents have been responsible for start-up costs. The group has that money ready to go.

But, Supt. James White has made it clear to the group that in the face of tight budgets and other programs being cut, this time around the parent group will be responsible for all costs.

"They are looking for us to fund coaches and transportation," said Trarbach. "We would hand the money over to the district earmarked for soccer."

What those costs will be are unknown. BHS athletic director Roger O'Neil is supposed to supply those numbers at the August meeting.

"What I would like is the supplemental information from Mr. O'Neil about the costs," board president Ed Schulte said. "When we're cutting programs, it is difficult to add one. But we have received a lot of positive input on it."

Trarbach told the board that Gardner-Edgerton has just added soccer, which brings the number of Frontier League schools with programs to six. The other five are Eudora, Louisburg, Paola, Ottawa and DeSoto. If BHS were added to that list, it would take it closer to the number needed.

"It's not yet considered a league sport," she said. "It's not quite 50 percent."

She said that O'Neil has said it won't be a problem finding a place for the team to play home games. The parents' group has also been talking to Baker University about various ways to help.

Early on in the effort to bring the sport to BHS, surveys of current and future participants were taken. For the 2004-2005 season, there are 63 BHS students interested and in 2005-2006, there are 61.

"It's a reminder about how many of our kids want to participate," Trarbach said of the numbers. "A lot of these kids are underserved."

The group has most of the $1,200 to $2,000 for uniforms, equipment and supplies. Fund-raising efforts can continue once its known what the cost will be for coaching and transportation.

"We're still looking for donations," she said. "It will be handled differently that other new sports. It will be funded by us. We need to know what that number is so we can get the money.

"It's hard to go forward until we know for sure," said Trarbach. "We would like the board of education to get on board with us, so we can do that."

There's a possibility, if approved, a small schedule for this year could happen. But, more likely, it would be in another year.

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