MEREDITH — Inter-Lakes High School students could have a chance play competitive lacrosse, perhaps as early as next spring, but the proposal to add yet another school sport has some school officials worried.
The suggestion which was discussed at last night's school board meeting prompted considerable discussion among administrators and board members, but no decision was made.
Inter-Lakes High School Athletic Director Jeff Cloos said that the potential for student participation in the sport appeared strong based on the turnout at a local lacrosse clinic held during the summer vacation. He said 32 boys and girls had participated in the clinic. He noted that most attending the clinic were younger children, but added that high school students were more likely to be working at summer jobs, and so would have been less able to work the camp sessions into their schedules.
Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond had concerns about the lacrosse proposal. She said she was worried about the availability of fields to accommodate the games. In addition she said she was troubled that adding lacrosse could lower student participation in those sports which the school already offers.
"Because we have a small student population ... I think it would eat into" the number of students who now go out for other sports, she said.
Some worried that participation in track and softball might suffer.
Ormond remarked that if lacrosse were to be offered it might appropriate to organize a team made up players from Inter-Lakes and Moultonborough Academy. She also wondered if the home games could be played on Moultonborough fields.
The two schools currently jointly field football and ice hockey teams.
In noting the concerns, board member Mark Billings said, "If (lacrosse) is where kids are finding their passion we have to recognize that."
Board member Lisa Merrill thought the proposal had merit. "The parents are really and truly involved," she said, and she note that the objections that a new sport would undercut existing ones sounded like those raised several years ago by those who objected to adding football.
After the meeting adjourned Ormond said that she would speak with Cloos and others to determine whether it was feasibility to organize a lacrosse team as a club sport and if it appeared ample support existed she would make a formal proposal to the board.
In other business, district Special Education Director Chuck DiCecca told the board that the cost of sending certain special education students private schools is now projected to be $65,000 more than the $178,000 earmarked in the budget. DiCecca said six more students required out-of-district placement than was anticipated when the budget was drawn up. Three of those students, however, have since been able to come back to classes at Inter-Lakes High. He said the $65,000 will either need to be found elsewhere in the budget or taken from a special trust fund.
NOTES: Ormond said that the first-day enrollment in Inter-Lakes schools totaled 1,101, a slight increase of last year's enrollment of 1,095. She said that the enrollment in kindergarten and first grade are both up. At Sandwich Central School there are 12 youngsters in kindergarten and seven in first grade, she noted. . . . . . Inter-Lakes Senior Bob Euiler attended his first meeting at the board's student representative. He said that he wanted to share with the board what the students at Inter-Lakes High School, and especially the members of the Student Council, think about certain issues.