The debate has gone on for a long time, pitting educators and coaches against each other for quite a while.
The quetion is whether Carbon School District should have a program where freshman teams and athletics fall under the high schools rather than junior high athletic departments.
Many have argued that one of the reasons Carbon's athletic teams have not been as successful as they could be is because they compete against other schools that have freshman programs.
But many who support the junior high programs say that keeping ninth graders under the umbrella of junior high athletics is just as productive, maybe more so.
Regardless of the arguments. this summer a committee of educators, board members and coaches from all areas of the district met together three times and came up with a recomendation to the board of education: Leave things pretty much as they have been.
The committee consisted of principals Robert Cox, Carbon High, Tom Montoya, Helper Junior High, Jan Avery, Mont Harmon Junior High, as well as district administator Doug Hintze and school board president Jim Leonard.
Coaches involved include Troy Moynier of Carbon High, Phil Howa of Helper Junior High, Joe Meanea of Mont Harmon and Cammie Carlson of Carbon High and parents involved include Lee Johnson, Barry Deeter, and Tim Palmer.
The committee discussed several choices as to what could be done. Those were:
Combining Helper and Mont Harmon Junior High nineth grade programs to compete at the high school with eighth and seventh grade programs at the junior high level.
Combining Helper and Mont Harmon Junior High ninth grade programs to compete at the high school with ninth, eighth and seventh grade programs at the junior high level.
Continue to allow ninth graders to play at Carbon High and continue the ninth and eighth grade programs as they are at the two junior highs.
According to Hintze, the group met and voted unanimously to leave the ninth grade participation policy as is.
But beyond that the committee did make a list of suggested improvements so the coordination and communication between the high school programs and the junior highs operate at an optimum level.
The first improvement mentioned was communication and coordination between the high schools coaches and the junior highs athletic staffs.
Board member Grady McEvoy asked what kind of plan the committee recomended to advance such a goal.
"I am just wondering what we are doing to make sure this happens," he stated.
Hintze explained that there is no formal plan, but that the coaches had agreed to work on the issue.
Another improvement included junior high students being welcomed to high school games under certain conditions.
In the past some junior high students who came to games have created behavior problems for high school administrators and personnel. One of the ideas included allowing teams to come to games for free if accompanied by their junior high coach as a group.
The committee also worked on finding ways to stop finger pointing and blaming others for problems between the two educational levels of the school district. All on the committee thought that they could help stop some of those problems.
Another idea was for coaches from the different levels to switch roles occasionally. This would not only help high school coaches get to know up coming students better, but might work toward coaches in the different levels using similar game plans so that students are exposed to the same kinds of play throughout their teen years.
Another idea was for athletic teams to work together to do certain kinds of community service. This would help them all to work together and get to know each other.
One other idea was to extend the season at the junior highs after league play ends and combine teams for further competition or even intramural play.
Another idea put forth was to form a school wide booster club for all extacurricular teams at the schools.
The board thanked the committee members and approved continueing the program as is with the suggested improvements.