Hayden School Board balks at adding baseball as school sport

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— There's no joy in Hayden - Tigers baseball has struck out.

The Hayden School Board voted 4 to 1 Wednesday night to deny adding baseball as a school sport, due to long-term sustainability concerns.

"It was a really difficult situation, because there's a lot of support involved with a group of kids that did a great job of expression in starting a program," said School Board President Brian Hoza, who voted against the proposal.

Hayden didn't field a baseball team for players older than the age of 13 until this summer, when 14 players between the ages of 14 and 17 took the field in May on a team sponsored by the American Legion.

"That American Legion team wanted to move over to a high school status, but it came down to a financial situation with other things on our docket, like our vocational building," Hoza said.

Board member Kurt Frentress was the proposal's lone supporter.

Hayden School District Superintendent Mike Luppes said the district's financial constraints were too much, despite the community's support of baseball.

"It was going to be set up in a similar fashion to Steamboat Springs High School's tier-two sports," he said. In tier-two sports, such as hockey and tennis in Steamboat, parents pay a fee for the student to participate.

"Obviously, we would have liked the School District to pay for the program," Luppes said. "But I didn't think it was something we could do."

Another concern for district officials is whether declining enrollment in Hayden schools could support a competitive team in the future.

"The American Legion team was a senior-dominated program," he said. "They had a solid one year to get established, but I didn't see long-term sustainability."

A Hayden High School baseball team would have played most of its games in Craig. There are no regulation baseball fields in Hayden.

Hoza said the American Legion team's manager, Wayne DeLuca, volunteered to coach the team.

"They had a willingness to share resources, and parents would be responsible for transportation," said Hoza. "But we don't know how long it would have been reasonable to expect that out of them."

Complying with the Federal Title IX statue, which requires schools to provide equal opportunities for male and female athletes to receive federal funding, was also a concern.

"We would have added an additional women's sport with Title IX to balance it," he said. "It's hard to set things up and not follow through at the level we'd like to with the funding."

The American Legion team will carry on, Hoza said, and he expects baseball supporters to address the board again next year.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they had another year or two of success, and we had the enrollment numbers and financial stability, having baseball at the school is something we'd come back to in the future," he said.

Comments

Malcolm_Reynolds 7 years, 1 month ago

It is obvious the School Board members that voted NO have no clue how successful the Hayden Parks & Recreation youth baseball programs have been the past 5 years and the quality of baseball the youth of Hayden play the game.

Your decision was a slap in the face to the kids that play their hearts out to prove that they can compete against towns with a larger base to provide players. There are boys who were league champions in Craig are becoming teenagers and want to play for their home school, not travel to play for the school with players they beat in league play.

To the kids in Hayden don't give up! It's time to prove the Hayden School Board they were wrong in saying "They had a solid one year to get established, but I didn't see long-term sustainability." Also were does the School Board think the Steamboat Springs Team play most their home games? Craig! They usually have snow on the ground in Steamboat and have used Hayden ball fields to practice in the past, before our baseball programs started.

Thanks to School Board Member Kurt Frentress for your support.

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StacyMagee 7 years, 1 month ago

This is a SAD ,SAD situation. These baseball players presented themselves for the LAST 3 Board Meetings along with the parents begging for a High School Team. It is so sad that they did not get support from the Board. I find it also odd that the members who DID support the idea were replaced at the meeting that a decision was made. This is an obvious poor judgement on the school board's part. These boys want to play Baseball.That is simple and they have 2 capable coaches willing to volunteer their time...Why would a decision be made to deny these players an oppurtunity to play baseball ?? A Tier two program would have been simple and yet was denied! As far as enrollment numbers, I think we would GAIN students if the oppurtunity was there and look at the possibility of LOSING kids to go elsewhere that the program is offered. This is a sad thing and I feel sorry for these boys who have put all this effort into something that went no-where.

Rethink your decision Hayden School Board,you just might be suprised by these Tigers!

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StacyMagee 7 years, 1 month ago

In addition,Thank you Troy Wertenberger and Kurt Frentress for your support. We appreciate it.

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Angie Robinson 7 years ago

Isn't getting students passionate about athletics and team sports something adults are supposed to support? Would we rather our students be lazy and join the nation wide obesity epidemic? When a group of students decides to be this involved and motivated about something, why can't the school board get behind them instead of infront of them? There was a list of middle school kids that said they would participate in highschool baseball that was very long, proving this program has a ton of interest already. It's a sad situation especially for the juniors and seniors that wanted this so badly. Thumbs down to Hayden School Board! Thumbs up to all the supporters that are paving the way for the younger generations!

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