Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2001

Board postpones adding soccer

May 17, 2001

Though Eudora High won't be adding soccer in the next school year, both the district and community supporters have said they will pursue adding the sport in the future.

The Eudora Board of Education decided not to add soccer to the EHS list of activities at its monthly meeting last Wednesday. Board members said a tight budget would not permit the addition of soccer for the 2001-2002 school year.

EHS activities director Larry McPherson said the school has also received requests from community members to add golf, tennis and cross-country. McPherson said none of these sports would be added next school year. After some research, McPherson said it would cost $2,400 for uniforms for 11 players, $5,100 for other equipment and $40,000 for coaches' salaries. He said an uninstalled scoreboard would also cost of $7,000.

"My problem is, I have four sport requests and I don't see how I can afford any of them with what I'm working with," McPherson said at the meeting. "I don't feel comfortable adding soccer if we can't add others."

The request for soccer at EHS was first brought before the board at its April meeting by representatives from the Eudora Soccer Club. Yvette Ehret, president of the club, said once players in the club reach age 15, they 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 the club is willing to donate all uniforms, equipment and would help maintain the fields. The board said it had seen similar intentions from community supporters before. But despite initial suport, the programs eventually lacked sufficient support.

Board president Marion Johnson said he didn't support starting any sport unless it had full backing from the district and the school, especially with finances.

"I think that's bad business," Johnson said at the meeting. "If you start it, you start it like all other sports and go from there."

The board expressed its desire to look into adding soccer in the future, but said it wasn't feasible at this time. The Eudora Soccer Club was asked to continue to keep an open line of communication with the board in the future.

Ehret said she plans to do just that.

"We will continue to go to every board meeting from here on out," she said. "My goal is to not let it drop so the school and the board knows how much we want to get it in there. I'm going to show them that the soccer club and the community wants to support it."

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