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AAC recommends athletic plan for future

POULSBO — The North Kitsap School Board heard a report March 23 from a year of meetings that have mapped out a complicated web of the athletics and activities the NKSD Athletics and Activities Committee believe should be offered in upcoming transitional years.

Last September, NKSD Supt. Gene Medina tasked the committee of 25 — a parent/community/student group of 10, a staff group of 10 and five administrators — with researching NKSD’s secondary athletics in comparison to the best programs around the country. The group was then to provide a proposal to the school board on the state of NKSD athletics through the school year 2007-08.

“There’s a lot of pieces to the charge,” AAC co-facilitator Gregg Epperson told the board. The task involved studying and structuring what league each school should be part of as well as what athletics and activities should be offered.

And while things will be changing dramatically at all levels, the report’s mission statement focused primarily on creating a middle school philosophy.

With the district’s transition from junior high schools to middle schools in 2007, three things will change in regards to interscholastic athletics, according to the AAC report. Sixth-graders will not be able to participate, both schools will join the North Olympic Middle School League and fall cross country will take the place of spring baseball and fastpitch, in accordance with the new league assignment.

At the school board study session last Thursday, the board had finances on its collective mind as Director Dan Delaney cautioned the committee leaders Epperson and NKHS Athletic Director Trish Olson.

“Remember (athletic’s) biggest cost outlay after coaching salary is transportation,” Delaney said looking over the list of NOMSL participants, including far-reaching teams like Forks and Sequim.

On another note, school board chair Catherine Ahl questioned an underlined passage in the report which called for lights at KHS’ main field, which will be synthetically turfed.

“If you’ve got a turf field, it’s almost like shooting yourself in the foot if you’re not lighting it,” Olson noted, citing spring sports as an example when, without lights, play must cease around 5 p.m. “We may call them spring sports, but in terms of light, it’s still winter.”

“I understand this but I have dollar signs scribbled all over page five,” Ahl replied.

Page five of the report also recommended, “that a definite decision in support of installing the four planned tennis courts at KHS be made.”

With only one field and one gymnasium currently planned, KHS may be lacking facility space for all recommended programs, Olson said.

However, sport offerings and depth (i.e. Varsity, JV) of those Buccaneer teams are yet to be determined mainly by the answer to the question of whether or not NKSD’s 2008 senior class will be split.

Regardless, KHS athletics will be a part of the newly-formed 2A/3A Olympic League with Port Angeles, Bremerton, Olympic, North Mason, Sequim, Klahowya, Port Townsend and Peninsula, the report said.

Next year, North Kitsap High School will remain in the 4A Narrows League, but with the district grade level transition in 2007-08, NKHS will likely join the Olympic League, Olson said.

As freshmen become part of the high school, the AAC recommends that NKHS offer an additional team (C-team) for football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer and fastpitch. Along with those additions. another assistant coach position is advised to be added for each sport.

No board action was necessary on the item, but the board and Epperson noted that more work from the AAC will likely be needed in the near future.

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