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Norwood-Norfolk basketball teams full, waiting for schedules


NORFOLK - It’s been a wait and see process in trying to organize basketball schedules for girls and boys this year, according to Norwood-Norfolk Central School’s athletic director.

While Norwood-Norfolk has had enough students to fill their teams, Paul Durant said other schools are still trying to determine if they’ll have teams.

“It’s been a real struggle with schools that are still trying to find teams. Some are trying to host a JV (junior varsity) team. There’s people that haven’t filled their varsity schedules or their JV schedules,” he said.

Norwood-Norfolk hasn’t had a problem drawing students for their basketball teams, Mr. Durant said.

In boys’ varsity, 20 students had signed up and 18 showed up for the first practice. Their numbers are now down to 15.

“I talked to the coach today. Based on academics, he figures he’ll finalize with 12 or 13 (players),” Mr. Durant said.

Sixteen students were invited to show up for the first practice of the girls’ varsity basketball team, according to the athletic director.

“Sixteen showed up. Now they’re down to 13. They cut three people,” he said.

The team is open to students in grades nine through 12, and Mr. Durant said two freshmen were kept on the team, “which has historically been done.”

In girls’ modified, he said 34 students signed up to play and 29 showed up. One quit after the first practice.

Because of the number of players, the district is fielding two girls’ modified teams, but with budget constraints, no junior varsity team.

“Most of the schools don’t have two modified teams,” Mr. Durant said.

Twenty-three students signed up the boys’ modified team, and 18 showed up for the first practice, with three quitting after the first practice.

“He’s looking at probably 14 to 15 players” on one team, Mr. Durant said

Some board of education members have shared their concerns about cuts on the varsity girls’ team, wanting to ensure every student had an opportunity to participate.

“One of he reasons the board eliminated JV and not varsity was to give (students) as many opportunities as possible,” George D. Fulk said.

But the athletic director said there has always been a possibility of students not making the team.

“Historically there were cuts in all sports. If I had 35 hockey players come out... I had to make cuts,” he said.

“You don’t know when you start practice how many are actually going show up. They’re told you were going to cut, but didn’t know how many,” he said.

Sometimes cuts are necessary because of the number of students who will be playing on the team. On the basketball court, for instance, “realistically you play nine kids,” Mr. Durant said.

“It’s kind of a moving target. I think in the past students were not accustomed to being cut. When they were cut, parents were concerned,” Superintendent Elizabeth A. Kirnie said.

She said they had hoped to launch a JV team this year, “but without side financial assistance it wouldn’t work.”

“We did have the discussion and talked about the feasibility of having one girls’ modified basketball team and one JV. Just due to budgetary concerns, we had to stick with two modified teams and a varsity,” Mrs. Kirnie said.

The cost of fielding a team would have been $6,800 or $486, she had previously told board of education members.

Mrs. Kirnie said they had approached the school’s Booster Club about financially supporting the program, but “their representative took it back to them and they decided not to support girls’ basketball. We had no choice but to go back to our original budget.”

Without a junior varsity team, Mr. Durant said, the coaches would “be creative” to allow all students on the team to participate.

“They have to find out what the real numbers are,” he said. “I think they’re trying to be creative. My message to them is try to keep it as positive as you can.”

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