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Parents want junior varsity girls basketball team at NNCS

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NORFOLK - Even though the Norwood-Norfolk Booster Club has raised some funds and offered it to the district to support a junior varsity girl’s basketball program, it wouldn’t cover the entire cost of the program, and school officials say they’re not even sure how many other schools are fielding JV varsity teams that their girls could compete against.

Superintendent Elizabeth A. Kirnie, who was among those who attended a Monday night Booster Club meeting, said there was a sense of frustration “because the Booster Club has raised some money and has generously offered it. It certainly doesn’t cover the cost.”

The cost of fielding a team would be $6,800 or $486 per player, she told board of education members this week.

The school does offer a varsity program as well as two modified teams, one for grades seven and eight and another for grades eight and nine.

But there has been interest in fielding a JV team, she said, because of the same concerns that had been heard from parents who wanted to field a junior varsity girls’ soccer team this fall - that high numbers would mean some students wouldn’t have playing time on the team.

“It’s similar,” Mrs. Kirnie said.

“We’re very concerned that we offer and appropriate playing time to both the boys and the girls. The question first of all is can we field varsity, JV and modified teams? Once you start splitting those up, it could be taking girls away from an already small varsity team and taking girls away from modified. So perhaps what’s left in a large modified team, but one that is too small to create two teams,” she said.

Original sign-ups indicated interest from six students in grade seven, 12 students in grade eight, 10 students in grade nine, three students in grade 10 and three students in grade 12, she said.

“Typically more students sign up than actually play,” the superintendent noted.

For those who actually wanted to play, she said they would need to ensure sports physicals were up to date and that the players maintained their academic eligibility.

In addition, Mrs. Kirnie said, there are concerns about how much competition there would be from other schools.

“It’s not the interest, which is of course primary. It’s are there enough districts in our league that will also have a junior varsity?” she said.

It’s also the question of cost.

“At this point there certainly is time to put together a schedule. If there is interest and enough other teams to compete, then the burning question is who’s paying for it? It was not originally in the budget. That’s where our discussions are right now. It’s difficult to say no. But then again, we have had to say no to so many other things,” Mrs. Kirnie said.

At this point, she said, they’re “actively exploring” the formation of a JV team.

“We’ll take it one step at a time. We’ll be deciding what to do this year and obviously looking ahead based on this year to what we would like to plan and build into the budget for next year. The discussions are on-going,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity, I think, for parents who are concerned to get involved in the budget process. Although (the Booster Club meeting) was frustrating and people did not go away happy, it was an opportunity for us to include these same people in our long-range sports plan,” Mrs. Kirnie said.

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