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Norwood-Norfolk Booster Club prepares to form again

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NORFOLK - A Booster Club that has been dormant for some time at Norwood-Norfolk Central School will be meeting next week to plan their future support efforts at the school.

Amy LaRoe, who had been leading the formation of the club in the past, said she has heard from parents of girls who want to play modified sports, but are concerned their child may not get enough playing time because of the number of interested students.

“They want the club back. I had a meeting with a few of them last night. It went very well. I think these women want to see this go,” Ms. LaRoe said Tuesday.

The group plans to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the high school library to talk about their future efforts.

“We want as many to show up as possible - volunteers, those who want to voice their opinion,” she said.

Ms. LaRoe had previously worked on the Booster Club effort with Joanne Bigwarfe, the former elementary principal who died earlier this year. Ms. Bigwarfe had been active with the Potsdam Booster Club.

“I’ll give them Joanne’s mission statement, the goals Joanne and I had for the Booster Club,” she said. “I’ll let them know she kept pushing me on this. She wanted to keep going with it. Now I have a bigger goal to reach.”

Tuesday’s meeting will also give the group an opportunity “figure out where we go from here,” Ms. LaRoe said.

Among their primary goals will be fundraising.

“I think sometimes, especially in a town that’s a little economically deprives, maybe I reached out the wrong way. Maybe it should be, yes, we need funds, but we also need volunteers and we also need support,” she said.

They will also talk about electing officers for the group, she said.

Superintendent Elizabeth A. Kirnie said they welcomed the efforts of the Booster Club, especially at a time when Norwood-Norfolk, like many other districts, has had to make cuts to its athletic offerings.

“A few years ago under the pressure of state aid cuts, we along with many other districts in Section 10 made the decision to have fewer teams. Instead of modified, JV and varsity in several of our sports, we decided it was better to have modified and varsity because every student got to play. It was actually a decision that was very much discussed among athletic directors in Section 10,” she said.

The move paid off at Norwood-Norfolk, according to Mrs. Kirnie.

“In the end it helped us save on expenses such as coaching, transportation, officials and so on,” she said.

However, it has caused concerns lately from parents about the number of students wanting to play modified soccer and how the numbers could be handled equitably among all players.

“The fear is it’s such a popular sport and with so many students signed up to play for the firs time we would have to cut. That’s not what we want to do. That’s what parents were concerned about, what they thought were very large numbers,” Mrs. Kirnie said.

Those concerns, however, were unfounded.

“As it turns out, we’re finding out in reality that there are fewer girls that signed up than we initially expected,” she said. “We’re still exploring the details of the season, the number of scrimmage games and how to be creative so that every girl that wants to play has an opportunity. As of this date we will not be cutting any players.”

Mrs. Kirnie said that, while there had been a discussion about having sufficient numbers to break off and form two modified teams or a modified and junior varsity, “it’s clearly too late in the season to even be considering a JV, much less finding opponents.”

At this point, she believes every student that wants to play will have the opportunity to do so.

“I think we’re in a good place right now,” she said.

“Even better,” Mrs. Kirnie said, “is that we have a group of very dynamic, energetic, caring parents who are willing to do what it takes to revive the Booster Club so that in the future when is a need we will have their backing. It will enhance student opportunities. I’m very gratified that they’ve stepped up.

“The school district is ready to support the activities of a Booster Club at this time,” the superintendent said. “I think the need, is there and it will not lessen in the next few years. The timing is excellent. Regardless of whether and how we work out the issues of modified soccer, we have the roots of a very promising organization.”

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