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Amanda Stalder, Reporter

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Last Monday, the USD 413 Board of Education approved the addition of soccer at its monthly board meeting.

The addition leaves students excited and a number of questions to be answered.

In the Beginning:

Sophomores Jacob Adams and Jack Hendrickson, along with freshman Jacob Guernsey, can be held mainly responsible for the rise in soccer interest as they spearheaded a petition to bring soccer before the board.

There was enough interest from that petition and subsequent surveys for Athletic Director Eric Flaton to bring the possibility to the board.

The board’s unanimous approval left those who started it all ecstatic.

“I’m excited that I can show my soccer abilities to the best I can,” Adams said.

While many students are excited about soccer’s addition, there are obstacles and challenges that must be overcome for a soccer team.

Facility Challenges:

One of the more prominent issues with having a soccer team will be practice locations.

“We are looking at the area behind the stadium. Based on what we have looked into, you could lay a soccer field and football field back there running parallel to each other,” CHS Athletic Director Eric Flaton said.

With this grass field, the football team and soccer team could alternate days inside the football stadium on the turf field and the new additional field.

“However, we would have to take out some old track areas. We would need new soil and to add in some new sprinkler systems,” Flaton said of the challenges the additional practice fields.

Another potential issue is locker rooms. Currently only two locker rooms exist at the Chanute Community Sports Complex.

“Locker rooms are still being discussed. We are looking into what is best for students,” Flaton said.

Cost Challenges:

The overall approximate cost for a soccer team would be more than $153,000 in the first year.

The estimated cost for developing the field west of the Chanute Community Sports Complex to a practice field was $141,495 and makes up the bulk of the cost.

Along with the facility upgrade costs, the school would have to invest in uniforms and equipment, as well as hire a varsity coach and an assistant/junior varsity coach.

For a soccer team to be registered with KSHAA a $85 registration fee is required. Some games throughout the season also may require entry fees.

Throughout the soccer season, CHS would host eight home games. For these games, three referees would need to be hired, along with overtime pay for custodial help, and workers—such as scoreboard operators and ticket takers.

For each of the eight away games a bus and driver would need to be hired.

Scheduling Challenges:

Beside cost issues, there are also potential scheduling issues for home games that will have to be worked out. The stadium for soccer home games would only be guaranteed available on Tuesday afternoons due to arrangements with other sporting groups. For instance, Wednesdays and Saturdays are reserved for NCCC soccer, Thursdays for Royster football, and Fridays for varsity football.

Impact on Other Sports:

The addition of soccer leaves some fall coaches pondering the impact it will have on their programs.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about how having a soccer team will impact the cross country team,” cross county coach Brett Rinehart said. “I think that students having more choices is ultimately a good thing…. However, from a selfish standpoint, I’m very worried that I might lose some kids we currently have out and that it will make it more difficult to get kids to give cross country a try.”

Varsity football coach Chris Shields feels the impact soccer might have on his football team would be insignificant, and would accept some athletes onto his team who would want to participate in both sports simultaneously.

“I’ve had many soccer players over the years kick/punt for my teams and would welcome the same here,” Shields said.

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