Dual sports option continues, by narrow vote

Doug Boock
Galva High School athletes, including Derek Foley (foreground), will continue to have the option of playing two sports during the same season following a vote of the Galva High School Board on Sept.

Galva High School athletes can still play two sports at once following a split 4-3 vote by the Galva School Board on Sept. 22.

Principal Richard Kucharz recommended Monday night limiting Galva athletes to playing just once sport per season. All but one GHS spring-season coach had told him they’d like to see that rule, to alleviate problems caused by players missing practices and games to be at other sports.

The primary problem is in the spring, when track, baseball and softball are held at the same time.

“It’s really not working for us,” Kucharz said.

He also noted that several area school districts, including Cambridge, Annawan and ROWVA, limit participation to one sport per season.

Board member Darcy Jeffries said, however, that she’d spoken to several Galva parents, and none wanted to see athletes limited to one sport per season. She also said greater efforts should be made to schedule games so they aren’t on the same nights as other sports. Nearly every other board member also voiced opinions about the matter ?- some for and some against.

“My concern isn’t for that individual student, but for the rest of the team,” Paul Walliker said. “I think it’s unfair to other members to have players not there in practices (who still get to) play in the field or play ahead of someone else.”

A poll of the coaches’ thoughts about the issue hadn’t formally been done the last time the board discussed the issue. That had changed by Monday night, Dave North noted.

“The opinions of the coaches was a question mark. It’s not a question mark now,” North said. 

Following the lengthy discussion, Jeffries, John VanDeVelde, Andrew Larson and Terri Russell voted to allow dual sports. Dave North, Paul Walliker and Gary Edmonds voted against.

In another sports issue, the board authorized Kucharz and athletic director Anthony Bonati  to contact neighboring schools about the possibility of co-oping football. Board President Gary Edmonds raised the idea, noting the continuing difficulty to compete against co-op teams, who have more players than Galva.

Many board members expressed disappointment in the current co-op with Williamsfield, which has produced just one Williamsfield player on the high school team and two on the junior high team. Two other Williamsfield high school players quit the team earlier.

“I think all of us are disappointed with the Williamsfield co-op to date,” Edmonds said.

Other board members voiced disgruntlement with Williamsfield’s support of the program.

Among reasons cited for the co-op’s failure is Williamsfield’s unwillingness to provide its players transportation to Galva. Williamsfield parents have to drive their children here, then wait two hours or more until practice ends.

No particular possible co-op partners were pushed by board members Monday night. They favor simply contacting local districts and seeing what interest, if any, exists.

If desired, Galva could form a three-school co-op with Williamsfield included, if Williamsfield  also desires. Otherwise, Galva would need Williamsfield’s permission to break the current two-year co-op agreement with Williamsfield. Board members Monday night thought that wouldn’t be a problem, though, since Williamsfield’s interest appears low anyway.