Soccer/lady golfers want chance to play at EHS
Two groups of parents and supporters would like to see girls golf and soccer brought into Emery High School. Kenzi Guymon and Troy Winter have done research and talked to students interested in the sports. They have volunteer coaches ready to coach the sports and are looking at ways to fund the sports without requiring the school to expend funds other than for transportation. Guymon said the season for girls golf is February through May. Ten girls have expressed interest in the sport. The boys golf program pays $1,100 in coaching and $500 for equipment. So for $1,600 she calculates a golf program for the girls could be started.
Superintendent Kirk Sitterud said the school will conduct a survey when school starts again to gauge interest in those who want to participate in all sports not just the new sports.
Guymon said the team can be created with only four players because only four scores from individual golfers are counted to make up the team score for each meet. She hopes things can be completed in a timely manner so there is time that an Emery girls team could be added to the schedule to compete among other 2-A schools for this coming school year.
The school board said the impacts must be considered before any determinations can be made. The cost and travel expenses must be looked at. Currently it costs $3.75 a mile to send a bus on a trip. Each school has so many miles allocated to it each year. It was mentioned the school district has Suburbans that can be used for transporting smaller sports teams which are more cost effective.
Groups can fundraise to help with travel and uniform expenses.
Superintendent Sitterud said the school district must abide by the requirements of Title IX. Once in the past the district had a review by the Office for Civil Rights and written guidelines were submitted back to OCR as to how the district would comply with Title IX.
One time a business donated warm-ups to a team and the school had to purchase warm-ups for the other team in the same sport to keep things equal.
Guymon wondered if it was OK to go ahead and fundraiser for the girls golf team in the event the sport can move forward.
The school board didn't see a problem with fundraising for a girls golf club which at this time is not affiliated with Emery High.
Superintendent Sitterud said there needs to be a better understanding of what it means to be Title IX compliant. It is very clear on fundraising.
The soonest any action can be taken on the matter would be the October board meeting after school has resumed and the survey completed.
School board President Laurel Johansen said the school must look at all angles and consider if players will be taken from other sports.
Guymon said she views adding golf as another opportunity for students and if there is anything we can do to help students it should be done.
Winter said in the survey he has done he finds much support for soccer. In league sign-ups this spring there were 300 players in baseball and 240 in soccer and he believes the numbers are there to bring soccer into the high school and junior highs. He has found 42 players interested at the high school level. It's possible too, for the coaches of the sport to donate any compensation they receive back into the program. Winter said in his research only four of the players played any other sport in school so he doesn't see the addition of soccer taking away from any other sports at the school. Winter said soccer is important to the kids that are here at this meeting and he hopes they will have a chance to play at a higher level.
Superintendent Sitterud said he is very supportive of sports and a huge sports fan, but there is a process that must be gone through to determine if these sports are feasible to add to the school sports schedule.
The meeting was well attended by those in support of the sports being added at EHS.
Troy Winter said he would like to see soccer come in at the high school level to give players a chance to continue playing beyond county league. The soccer season for girls soccer begins in August and boys soccer is a spring sport. If soccer is added to the school it would not be in time for a girls season to begin in 2013. But, Winter is hopeful by fall 2014 that the girls could have a soccer team.
Superintendent Sitterud clarified some statements made in board meeting in regards to Title IX compliance and fundraising, "First of all, let me clarify that the review was conducted over 20 years ago and was not in relation to any violations of Title IX. The review was a result of being randomly selected for review. OCR selects one district in each state to review annually. The review found no reportable violations of Title IX.
"The result of the review was an agreement that we needed to have a list of actions in written policy that would guide our Title IX compliance efforts. We created a list that was approved by OCR. The list is in our policy manual as Policy AC-R. There were no written "audit" reports, only correspondence asking for the written guidelines.
"My statement in Board meeting was somewhat erroneous and a result of a comment by a community member who claimed that funds were not being distributed according to policy. The fact is that all sports funds are accounted for at the school level and are under the supervision of the principal. There have been three principals at Emery High School since the review was conducted. It has typically been the practice of the school administration to keep funds raised through fund raising with the sport that conducted the fund raiser ( to do otherwise would kill fund raising efforts).
"Other funds are at the discretion of the principal and the coaches, all of which is within the scope of the policy," said Superintendent Sitterud.