Janesville freshman teams saved, but cuts still considered

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Thursday, July 29, 2010
— Janesville high schools will keep all their football and volleyball teams this year.

That’s good news for freshman players and their parents, who were not sure what would happen as district officials eyed those teams for budget cuts.

Football and volleyball each have two freshman teams. One of those freshman teams in each sport was on the chopping block as the school board considered budget cuts Tuesday.

The board backed away from making specific cuts. Instead, the board told the administration to cut $80,000 from the sports budget.

Steve Sperry, director of administrative and human resources, said he believes the board on Tuesday was telling administration not to cut freshman football or volleyball teams because those seasons are too close at hand.

However, the required budget cuts could mean that the way those teams are coached might change, Sperry said.

Everything in the $1.34 million athletics budget is being scrutinized for possible cuts, Sperry said.

That includes one of the two freshman teams in boys and girls basketball at each school, Sperry said.

Sperry met Wednesday with Parker Principal Steve Schroeder and Craig assistant principal/athletics director Monte Phillips, among others, to discuss what could be done.

Each school will consider possible cuts over the next few days and consult with coaches, Sperry said. A follow-up meeting is set for Monday.

Coaching positions, supplies, middle school sports costs and everything else are on the table, with a goal of cutting $80,000 to $100,000, Sperry said.

The athletics budget already took a cut of 30 percent of its supplies budget in this year’s budget, Chief Financial Officer Keith Pennington said. All departments took a similar cut in supplies.

That leaves about $1.34 million for sports, which is subject to the $80,000 cut, taking it down to $1.26 million, Pennington said. That’s a cut of about 6 percent.

The cuts would come on the top of reductions in previous years. The district no longer has a district athletics director. That position was cut in 2009. And $50,000 was cut from the budget in 2007.

A $50-per-sport fee was instituted in 2006. The school board briefly discussed an increase in the sports fee Tuesday but took no action. Some noted that other districts have much higher fees.

The grade-school track meet also was on the administration’s original list of cuts, but Sperry said he wasn’t sure if the board wanted it to be considered, now.

“We need to get some further direction (to see) if the board was including that or not including that,” Sperry said.

School board member Karl Dommershausen, who offered Tuesday to head up a fundraiser to preserve the grade-school meet, said Wednesday he’s still willing, if needed.

Sperry said booster club efforts to support other sports also would be welcomed, but the administration wants to be sure that one high school doesn’t benefit from a large fundraiser while the other school doesn’t, so a joint project would be considered.

Last updated: 2:14 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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