PARISHVILLE - While baseball may be the national past time, there is little debate that soccer is actually the most popular sport in the world and that seems to also be the case at Parishville-Hopkinton, where the district had 64 girls signed up for the schools two soccer teams this past year.
Eleven players are on the field at any given time, meaning more than two-thirds of the girls are sitting on the bench cheering on their teammates, rather than playing in the game and hearing the cheers for themselves.
According to statistics presented by Kelly Pullano at Monday nights board of education meeting. this years modified team included 34 girls and the varsity team has 30 players.
Thats enough for three teams, she said. These girls want to play.
Kari Tremper has said she would be willing to coach a junior varsity team for free.
It is really difficult for all the members of either team to get enough playing time during games and scrimmages to maximize the development of their full potential, varsity Coach Evan Harper Jr. wrote in a letter supporting the creation of a third team. I know that several parents, and probably student-athletes, on both teams were not satisfied with the playing time available during games this fall.
While 64 girls split between two teams may sound like a lot, Ms. Tremper said that next year, without a junior varsity team, the problem is only going to get worse.
According to projections for next year, Ms. Tremper said theyre expecting 32 girls on the varsity team and 42 on the modified team.
Thats 74 girls who want to play soccer, and we want them to play soccer, she said.
Mr. Harper also said cutting girls from the team is something that he doesnt believe in.
I do not believe in cutting students from these teams since there are not a lot of extracurricular participation options available in our small school district and there certainly seems to be a great deal of interest from female students in playing soccer, he wrote.
Many educational studies have shown that participation in athletics and other extracurricular activities is a strong incentive for students to achieve higher grades and a higher graduation rate from high school.
Ms. Pullano, who noted the district hasnt had a junior varsity team in three years, said there are nine other junior varsity teams in the area, each of whom played a full 16-game schedule this past season.
Given that Ms. Tremper has said she would coach the team for free, the cost of having a team is cut nearly in half, leaving either the district or the community only responsible for coming up with $3,228.72.
I think thats a very doable price, Ms. Pullano said. If thats something the board could work into the budget, that would be great. If not, there would be a lot of parents out there who are willing to fundraise.
According to information presented by Ms. Pullano using data given to her by the districts athletic director, Robert Stewart, transportation costs would equal roughly $1,916.72, while officials would cost an estimated $1,312 for the season.
Board of education Vice President Timothy Zellweger said the request is something the board will review and consider during its upcoming budget crafting sessions.
This is something well discuss with the administrators and look at during budget time, he said.