NA schools mull changes to athletics

At Monday night’s board meeting, the New Albany School Board discussed possible changes related to athletics – implementing a bowling team, phasing out slow-pitch softball, and resurfacing the track.

Lance Evans, New Albany High School principal, said, “We have a lot interest from the student body to have a boys bowling team and a girls bowling team. We might be able to work out an agreement with the local bowling alley and we have a good lead on a coach for a team.”
Evans said that bowling team members will practice only in the afternoon. The season would be Oct. 1 – Feb. 24, there would be 12 matches, and all but two of them would be hosted in New Albany. He said that new Albany would possibly be placed in Region Class 1 North. Other schools in this region are East and West Union Attendance Centers, Kossuth, and Nettleton.
“If we add bowling to our sports, we do not expect that to cause a conflict with other sports. Because the season is so long and practice time is flexible, I do not see much conflict with other sports,” said Evans.
Susan McClelland, school board member, said, “I think bowling would be an untapped source for students to be involved in a sport that they otherwise may not be involved in.”
Evans said that the potential start-up cost would be approximately $3,000, then it would cost about $1,000 per year after that. The money would come out of money generated from athletics.
Evans told the board that there would be a discussion as to whether the bowling team members would be able to participate in other sports.
School Board Member Jason Dees told Evans that he wants a budget proposal to be brought back to the school board. Gault authorized Evans to proceed with research and come back to the board with a budget recommendation in the future.
In addition to implementing a new bowling team, Evans also discussed the possibility of eventually phasing out slow-pitch softball and replacing that sport with volleyball.
Evans said, “We are trying to be proactive in our approach with athletics. The season would be Aug. 1-mid-Oct., they would practice after school only, and would play in Memorial Gym at the middle school.”
“Our goal is to phase out slow-pitch softball over a length of time as opposed to ending the sport abruptly. Fast-pitch softball would not be affected,”said Evans.
McClelland said that there would be more scholarship opportunities with volleyball than with slow-pitch softball.
Evans said that him and Coach Sanderson would want to find a college volleyball coach to work with the school. Evans also said that there is also a possibility of implementing a volleyball program at the middle school as well.
Gault authorized Evans to proceed with this study and come back to the board in January with his recommendations.
The board also discussed having the track at the high school resurfaced. Athletes still practice on certain parts of the track, but the track has been in disrepair for approximately four years. Gault authorized Ford permission to seek specifications on fixing the track and go out for bids and specifications on resurfacing the track.
Furthermore, the board discussed adding an accent color to to accompany the school colors of maroon and white. The colors discussed were grey, black, silver, and more.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at the New Albany School District Central Office Boardroom.

About Chris Elkins

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