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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • No decision yet on baseball, softball at Skyline

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  • Not much wiggle room. As the Skyline Board of Education considers adding baseball and or softball to their athletic program, the amount of money necessary to support the program will be key to either a go or no-go for the additional sports.
    Funding is very tight and the school can't make this program work without help.
    "If we're going to do this it has to come through donors," said Skyline Superintendent Mike Sanders. "We just don't have much wiggle room."
    The BOE has heard the facts and now they well consider the program for a vote at a later meeting. The Board has to make a decision by December because Kansas State High School Athletic Association rules require notification to play by January.
    Mark Etsell spoke on behalf of interested students, parents and patrons in establishing the program during the Monday BOE meeting.
    Superintendent Sanders estimated to sustain the program for the first three years it would cost about $10,000 the first year then $5,000 the second year and $2,500 for the third year.
    Teams would play 20 games: five double headers away and five double headers at home.
    Etsell said he was confident he could get the program started with $10,000 in donations from businesses and individuals. He has already spoken to a number of businesses that have indicated they would be sponsors and many that he believes will participate once they know if the program is a go.
    On a survey, 13 boys in grades 9-12 indicated they would be interested in playing.
    On the softball side however just eight girls indicated they would play and that is not enough to field a softball team.
    Coaches would come from the existing faculty. Estimated cost to pay coaches is $6,400.
    If the BOE votes to start the program, the first year would be just junior varsity games because all the varsity slots are already full.
    Practices would be done mostly in Lemon Park with games played at Green Sports Complex working in cooperation with the USD 382 game schedule.
    Most players would provide their own personal items while the district would cover the cost of uniforms, baseballs and softballs, catcher's equipment and other supplies, Sanders said.
    The cost of umpires for the games would come from ticket sales. The gate revenues usually cover the cost of umpires so that is usually a wash, Sanders said.
    One of the unanswered questions was the travel cost for practice and the district will provide that information to the board at the next meeting.
    Another unanswered question is the impact a baseball or softball program would have on track. Both sports are held at the some time and the new programs will impact track, Etsell said.
    Page 2 of 2 - In other Board activity: They voted to approve negotiations of a 2.8 percent raise to make the new base $33,500.
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