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By Sandy Schroth

Future Summerland Bobcat football on the ledge for eight-man gridiron classification


September 12, 2019

The Orchard Public School Advisory Board of Education faced a short agenda when they met last Wednesday at the high school.

Board members heard from Principal Cathy Cooper that enrollment numbers used for football classification, as of last Wednesday, sat at 47, the maximum allowed for eight-man participation, in order to qualify for state playoffs. An increase in the number of boys enrolled in grades nine, 10 and 11 in any of the three schools, would push the future Bobcats to 11-man. Enrollment on Oct. 1 will determine classification.

Enrollment numbers are projected to rise in the upcoming cycles. Board member, Kristi Shutt, asked about opting up to 11-man in the beginning. Teams may opt up without penalty, if a request is submitted within one week of classification release. Jim Shutt, Orchard site activity director, did not anticipate the action. He said the new two-year football classifications and schedules will be released in February.

The board heard from Cooper that deposits into the Bobcat activity fund were anticipated, to cover uniform and other co-op costs, advising the board members would need to decide where a potential $5,000 Orchard contribution would be derived.

Each of the three schools had contributed $5,000 to the account at the co-op’s inception, but those funds will soon be depleted, with the only income coming from volleyball gate admission fees. The current balance of the account was not certain, but had been reported at approximately $13,000 at the last joint board meeting. A $5,000 to $6,000 invoice for cross country and track uniforms had not come in at that time, according to Jim Shutt.

Orchard and Clearwater’s initial deposits came from the Cyclone activity account, and while the account has a balance of more than $7,000, remaining football-related expenses will still be incurred as the OC co-op continues this year.

Discussion ensued regarding the upcoming deposit, but no action was taken.

Recent donations from DW’s and the Orchard Booster Club are earmarked for uniform purchases.

The AD reported basketball and wrestling uniforms had recently been designed and ordered. He said a “lot of kids” are being outfitted, with an effort to be cost effective with uniform purchases.

“But, we want them to look good,” he said.

He said purchase of golf uniforms “is on the radar.”

In reply to a question from board president, Candice Hoke, the AD said two Orchard athletes were out for cross country. He said one would have played football if cross country was not an option, but the other would likely not have gone out for volleyball, thus adding one participant to the activity rosters.

Hoke also questioned junior high activity participation in co-op sports, including golf. Cooper suggested Bobcat golf coach Jim Tabbert make a pitch to the three boards at a future joint meeting.

The board approved designating several old desks and some outdated smart boards obsolete. Eight desks will be offered for sale. One desk and the smart boards have no value, according to Cooper, and will be discarded.

The board approved a 10-cent increase in adult meal prices to comply with federal school lunch program regulations.

Board members were reminded of the Orchard, Clearwater, Ewing joint board meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, and the Unified board meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 16, both in Clearwater. Budget and tax request hearings will precede the Unified meeting, at 6:30 and 6:45, respectively.


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