Archive for Monday, November 21, 2005

THS girls interested in forming soccer team

November 21, 2005

Some Tonganoxie High students would like girls soccer added to athletics offerings.

THS boys soccer coach Kenneth Lott held a meeting Thursday for girls interested in playing on a high-school sanctioned girls squad. If the squad were successfully established, it would compete with other high school teams in the Kansas State High School Activities Association, as other THS squads do.

Lott said 16 girls attended the meeting, while another eight who could not make the meeting spoke with him about the team.

Some of the girls at the meeting played on the boys team, which competes in the fall. The state's girls soccer season takes place in the spring.

"I'm kind of surprised at the number we got, because I would say three-fourths of girls there were not on the team," Lott said, referring to the fall boys season.

"Some have played outside the high school setting, but haven't had the opportunity to play high school soccer, which they were kind of excited about it, as far as a girls team."

To successfully establish a girls soccer program, the school would need approval from administrators and the school board, said Superintendent Richard Erickson.

The sport first would need approval from athletics director Brandon Parker. High school principal Tatia Shelton would review the recommendation. Shelton and Erickson would need to approve the recommendation before it went to the school board, which would make a final decision.

"Obviously the interest level is certainly going to determine how seriously we take this proposal. ... We want to make sure we have sufficient student interest," Erickson said.

If the school board were to approve a girls soccer program in the coming months, the team wouldn't be eligible to compete until 2007. Lott said KSHSAA rules state that schools with mixed teams, or a squad with boys and girls, must wait a full year after that mixed team plays to participate.

Because Tonganoxie had a mixed team this fall, THS would not be eligible for the spring 2006 soccer season.

THS athletics director Brandon Parker said he wasn't surprised by the amount of initial interest. He said turnout usually is good when a new activity is discussed.

"That's why this has to go many more levels to see how much interest

is in it," Parker said. "We can't just start a program because we have some interest.

"We have to have a competitive setting. Coach Lott would be the first one to tell you that."

Parker also said the effort to add a girls soccer team still was in the preliminary stages. He noted that long-term interest, such as with soccer players currently competing in the younger levels in the recreation commission, needed to be determined.

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