Middle School Soccer: Board members right to seek information

Wood County middle school students might benefit from a middle school soccer program — we do not yet know; but board of education members were right to ask Middle School Athletic Director Bill Vincent to give it another try in putting together a feasibility study and report on the potential for a new program.

Board members appeared to believe the report they received at this week’s board meeting was heavily focused on the reasons such a program would be difficult to implement. They prefer to look at it from another angle — tell us what is needed to get it done, and WE will decide whether those steps and expenses are possible and worth it.

“I don’t like excuses,” said board member Justin Raber. “I don’t like concerns. I want to know how we are going to do it; if it is an item we can take action on.”

A report showing participation numbers and budgets for current sports, in addition to the number of students interested in middle school soccer and the potential costs for such a program is essential.

Board members should also fully explore the possibility of a partnership with an organization such as the West Central Soccer Association. The WCSA’s Parkersburg club president believes many of the concerns over a middle school soccer program could be addressed if the school board partnered with the group.

Any new report turned in to board members should include full investigation of that option.

Board member Debbie Hendershot is correct that, if it is feasible, a middle school soccer program would be another positive activity for our kids. It might give some a better opportunity to play well enough to be part of one of the high school teams.

But no such decision should be made until board members have all the information they need about how much it might cost, and exactly how many students are hoping for it.

Board member Rick Tennant had it right. The board needs a real “feasibility study, letting us know the interests and the costs, so WE (emphasis added) can make a decision.”