FHS will add varsity, JV lacrosse next springFarmington High School athletes will have a new sport on the schedule when spring rolls around.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington High School athletes will have a new sport on the schedule when spring rolls around.
The Farmington School Board voted 5-1 Monday to add varsity and junior varsity lacrosse for the 2010 spring season.
Interest in the sport has grown quickly in Farmington. A two-year-old Farmington club program has gone from a handful of young players to several boys and girls teams. And a recent survey given to high school and middle school students showed 10.94 percent of boys and 10.84 percent of girls were interested in the sport. That’s about the same as hockey for boys and basketball for girls.
“I think we’re at a point right now where it makes sense for us to do this,” athletic director Jon Summer told board members when he first presented the proposal last month.
The addition shouldn’t cost the district much, at least at first. The plan the board approved Monday calls for the sport to be phased in at FHS, with the district paying only league fees in the sport’s first year and participants covering any other expenses. The district will pay 25 percent of the program’s cost in the second year, 50 percent in the third year and 75 percent in the fourth year before picking up the full cost in the sport’s fifth year.
Summer, who worked in the Hopkins School District before coming to Farmington, said the sport was added the same way in that district.
If the district gets the participation it expects in the first year the cost to each participant would be about $350.
Most board members were excited about the sport, but Tim Burke, who has a high school-age daughter who plays lacrosse, voted against it. He said he didn’t want to commit the district to paying for the program five years down the line when there are sports that currently don’t draw much participation. He mentioned gymnastics, which had just 13 participants last year, and boys tennis specifically.
Summer said the total cost of running the lacrosse program will be about $15,000 each for boys and girls teams this year and estimated that could increase to about $19,000 each by the time the district takes over the full cost of the program.
Burke said he worried the new sports could draw students away from sports that already struggle to attract participants. But superintendent Brad Meeks said he doesn’t expect that to be a problem as the school’s population increases.
“I think just for the sheer volume (of students) we’ll be able to match or expand those numbers,” he said.