Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2001

Board to consider soccer program

April 19, 2001

The Eudora Board of Education is kicking around the idea of adding soccer to the list of sports at Eudora High.

Yvette Ehret, president of the Eudora Soccer Club, went before the board at its monthly meeting last Thursday to pitch the idea of adding co-ed soccer at EHS. The board agreed to let EHS Activities Director Larry McPherson and Principal Marty Kobza study the issue and bring their findings to the board's May 9 meeting.

Once players in the Eudora Soccer Club reach age 15, Ehret said, players must look to other organizations if they wish to keep playing. Options include enrolling in soccer programs available through the Lawrence Recreation Commission or trying to play for another school, such as nearby De Soto. Ehret said cutting through the red tape involved in playing for another school is difficult if not impossible. With either option, the player is likely to spend as much time on the road as the soccer field.

Ehret said she has received feedback from players, mainly eighth-graders and freshmen, who want a soccer program started at the school.

For those concerned the sport might draw players away from football or volleyball, she said, it's unlikely that would be an issue.

"I had over 55 kids sign up who were interested in playing soccer," she said. "None of them played football. What we're tying to do is get it in for those who aren't in a sport. It's the kids who aren't in anything that want it."

David Cherry, assistant executive director for the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), said he's seen soccer added to several schools in recent years.

"I've been part of the staff for five years and in those five years, we've grown from 25 schools to 84 schools," he said. "Those are all full-fledged programs."

Cherry said the increased number of soccer programs available at the high school level indicates that more schools may adopt the program in the future. He agreed with Ehret's idea that students wanting to play soccer shouldn't take away from sports such as football or volleyball.

"I think in time it works out very well," he said. "It's usually a different type of student who's interested in playing soccer. Anymore, a lot of kids grow up playing soccer."

McPherson said there is a process involved when anyone wants a new sport added. First, he asks the group to do a survey to gauge student interest.

Next, McPherson said, he checks with other schools and KSHSAA for information on the program. Researching the cost is a large part of selling the issue, McPherson said.

"Anything that's going to cost as much as a (new) program does, the board has to research it," McPherson said. "I haven't even had a chance to start on it yet."

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