B y Matthew Rice
At the Monday night board of education meeting resident Greg Bourn addressed the board during public comments voicing concern regarding the sports programs and possible drastic cuts. A handful of concerned parents braved the inclement weather because they have heard rumors regarding the district’s plans for high school sports.
Board member Pam Tatko summed up the rumors she said she assumed he came to address.
“What the town has heard is we’re considering cutting all of the sports programs,” Tatko said adding no discussion of such a move had ever taken place. Bourn did not comment on Tatko’s summation of the issue.
The group was encouraged to stay by Superintendent Mark Bessen to hear athletic director Mike Macura present the sports portion of the budget later in the meeting.
Macura said proposed cuts to sports will include the dissolving of some junior varsity and/or modified teams for sports based on participation numbers. Most of the cuts to the athletics portion of the budget will be made by reducing or eliminating equipment and supply purchases, he said.
The junior varsity girls and boys soccer teams and modified volleyball ‘B’ team are likely casualties, as well as fall sports with low participation numbers.
Players will be disbursed to modified or varsity-level teams in the case of dissolved junior varsity teams and in the case of volleyball the two teams, A and B, will be combined into one. Other team combinations and reductions will take place, officials said.
Macura said he has been talking with other athletic directors in the Wasaren League and in neighboring districts to keep pace with what they also plan to do.
“This is not an easy process and it’s certainly not fun to do but we have to do something towards the district’s economic situation,” Macura said.