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JV sports may be returning to Parishville-Hopkinton

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PARISHVILLE - Last month the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School Board of Education heard a request to bring back the junior varsity girls’ soccer team.

This month Superintendent Darin P. Saiff suggested the district take a look at bringing back all four of its junior varsity teams.

“Although soccer is at the root of this, I think we should take a look at our junior varsity programs as a whole,” Mr. Saiff said. “We seem to have more students who want to play both soccer and basketball.”

Mr. Saiff said he didn’t yet have enough information to recommend restoring both the boys’ and girls’ junior varsity basketball and soccer teams, but he said that is something the board should look at when they begin working on the budget for next year.

Speaking specifically about the girls’ soccer team, board of education member Daniel Taylor said he thinks the district should be able to come up with enough money to restore at least that one team.

“If it’s only $5,000 or $6,000, we should be able to come up with that, right?” he asked.

Board President Ward Remington said while that may not sound like a lot of money it is far too early to make any promises to anyone.

“It depends on what we get for state aid and what additional mandates are placed upon us,” he said.

Mr. Remington also said he wouldn’t want to see JV sports restored at the expense of the district’s academic programming.

“I for one, and I’m not speaking for the whole board, think academics comes first and then the extras,” he said.

Board member Robert White said in his eyesthe restoration of junior varsity athletics could help make up for the loss of gymnastics.

“It’s a little give and take,” he said.

Mr. Saiff said at this point he’s not sure how much a full restoration would cost, but he’ll research that and present those figures to the board next month.

“Right now I would recommend seeing what the budget looks like, and if we can, reinstate it through that process,” he said.

Noting that supporters of the girls’ soccer program have already initiated fundraising to help pay for the team next year, should the district be unable to do so, board member Heidi Simmons asked what would happen to the money raised if the district ultimately decide to restore the team, as well as its other junior varsity offerings.

“If they want to fundraise, go ahead and fundraise,” Mr. Saiff said. “Then if we bring back junior varsity sports, they could donate the money to our athletic program as a whole.”

Ms. Simmons said while that may sound like a good idea there may be people out there not happy with that suggestion.

“If they are fundraising for a junior varsity program, I wouldn’t want the money to go to just varsity,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to donate money to a JV program and see the varsity boys be the only ones who get new uniforms.”

Mr. Saiff said a full restoration of the school’s junior varsity sports would only occur if the numbers made sense.

He explained that when the district decided to eliminate junior varsity sports, the number of students participating was far less than it is now.

Athletic Director Robert Stewart said girls’ modified basketball has just started for the year and currently has 15 girls on the team. He said the district’s varsity team has “13 or 14.”

“I wouldn’t say the basketball numbers merit a JV team at this point,” he said.

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