Winnisquam board ready to bring football into the fold

TILTON — The Winnisquam Regional School Board voted unanimously last month to put a $28,000 warrant article for funding a high school football program on the warrant of the 2014 school district meeting.
The board adopted the recommendation of its Athletic Committee, which had conducted a study on the long-term sustainability of a football program and had urged that the district ''own and operate the football program''.
The Winnisquam football program has been run by the Friends of Winnisquam Football, a community-funded organization, since its inception in 2005. Home games are played on a field next to Tanger Factory Outlets which is accessed from Rte. 132.
Board member Patricia Sawicki, who chairs the committee, said that there are concerns about the field but they should be addressed in a separate study.
Sean Goodwin said that the major point the committee wanted to make to the board was that ''they are still relying on capable volunteers to fund and operate the most well attended school sponsored athletic event and it is the single sport that attracts school participants of all abilities.''
Interim High School Principal Robert Pedersen said his experience with club programs in other districts has been that schools gain more control and have stronger teams when they are district funded.
Athletic director Zack Medlock said that the football program would be entirely managed by the district and that Friends of Winnisquam Football strongly favor the proposal.
The proposal calls for gate receipts going to the district and concessions revenue going to the Boosters Club, which would continue to operate the concessions.
The issue has been on the ballot several times as a result of petitioned warrant articles, according to School Board Chairman Mike Gagne, who said the study thoroughly addressed concerns which have been raised in the past and earned unanimous support from school board members.