Soccer program gains funding
Soccer fans have nothing to worry about when it comes to the future of the program at Baldwin High School.
On Monday night, the Baldwin School Board agreed to fund the program, which has existed for three years at BHS. Supt. Paul Dorathy made a recommendation to the board before it voted.
"You've got a program here that you don't have to judge whether it will be successful," Dorathy said. "You've seen it has been successful and it's benefiting the kids. My recommendation is to keep the program. We will find a way to fit it into the budget next year. I recommend that we take over the soccer program from now on."
The school board voted unanimously to leave soccer as a fall sport at BHS and to fund it from here on out.
For the first three years, the parents were in charge of funding the soccer program. Then it was up to the school board whether or not the district would fund the sport.
Dorathy estimated the cost at $5,000, which primarily includes coaching salaries and field maintenance.
"I understand the cost, but I enjoy seeing how many kids we are benefiting for $5,000," Board Member Ruth Barkley said. "I know there are a few kids who might be playing another sport, but most of them wouldn't be playing anything else in the fall."
The parents have funded the soccer program all three years. They funded around $86,000 the first year, which paid for the field, uniforms, field maintenance and other necessary requirements for the program to get started. They have since maintained paying for the program, which has only cost around $5,000 a year.
"The district has not funded any part of that to this point," Dorathy said. "The parents and fundraising supported that program for three straight years at 100 percent."
Several Baldwin Junior High School eighth graders came to Monday's meeting to show their support for the soccer program. All of them were on a club team this fall that won the Kaw Valley Youth Soccer League.
"It was nice to see the eighth graders come tonight and express their interest in the soccer program," Board President Alison Bauer said.
Now that the funding has been resolved, the soccer program must now clear one more hurdle before next fall -- finding a coach. Former coach Gus Wegner resigned after this season, which he announced to Activities Director Gary Stevanus at the beginning of the season.
Wegner coached the Bulldogs for the first three seasons. Stevanus said he hasn't begun searching for Wegner's successor, but will in the near future.