Carbon soccer teams get sanction from school board
|Andraya Newby protects the ball from a Delta defender in the last game of the season. Carbon girls soccer players will return next year as a sanctioned team due to the school board's Oct. 8 decision.|
For the past few years, participants in the girls and boys soccer programs at Carbon High School have had to pay most of the costs to play while the school district, due to safety concerns, provided transportation to away games. That was because neither program has been sanctioned by the Carbon Board of Education.
That all changed last Wednesday night when the board voted to make both programs part of the regular athletic department at Carbon High.
"The programs started totally unfunded a few years ago," Carbon principal Robert Cox told the board at their monthly meeting. "Then the district kicked in the transportation to take care of some safety concerns. Now we are asking that both become part of the regular athletic program and that the coaches for the teams be paid for their efforts."
Both programs have been driven by volunteer coaches since the beginning.
However, rather than the teams languishing as often happens with programs that equal to what many term a "club" sport, both programs have grown immensely, not only in participation but also in success on the field. The boys program has been in existence for four years and the girls squad for three.
These teams, however, are not the first soccer teams Carbon has been affiliated with. Over a decade ago, a boys soccer program was in place at the school, but when the issue of also starting a girls girls team entered into the picture, with Title Nine overtones attached to it, the district dropped the sport. Money to support two programs seemed to be the biggest issue.
"This approval was a great thing for the programs," said girls soccer coach Dave Capalbo. "It's very exciting."
Capalbo, who has been coaching the girls program for free since it began, had already announced earlier in the season that he would not be returning as a coach next year.
The board did voice some concerns about how many coaches would be needed for the programs, worrying about the possibility of the school coming back for a sophomore squad, in addition to the present junior varsity and varsity teams that exist now, in the future.
But, Cox explained that no schools in the league have sophomore teams.
The costs for students who participate will certainly change under the new format.
"Players will still have to pay a $20 activity fee to play on the teams," Cox told the board. "The referee costs will come out of student activity moneys."
That will be a relief to parents who in the past had to pay $100 to $120 per player per season.
The coaches will be compensated the same as track coaches at the school, based on an analysis that the coaches will have to coach about the same amount of time (because the season length is similar) and that the teams play games that are similar in number to the number of meets track teams participate in.
The money to pay the coaches comes out of the school's recreation fund. To allow for the new programs, the school's extracurricular activity budget was increased from $5,000 to $8,000.
In another action involving the athletic department at Carbon the board also approved the hiring of a sophomore coach for the girls softball team.