Eighth graders at the local middle school will be allowed to “move up” to practice with high school athletes in sports that don’t have enough players, following a turn-around decision this week.
The Grand Coulee Dam School District board reversed itself from an earlier decision at its Monday night meeting.
At issue was whether eighth graders at the Grand Coulee Dam Middle School could move up and play high school sports when there weren’t sufficient numbers turning out to field a team.
The idea was revised a bit Monday night after an hour-long hassle over just how it might be done.
The board finally decided to allow eighth graders to move up as long as they were part of a junior varsity team, not varsity.
Board member Ted Piccolo had asked that the issue be brought up again after the board turned it down at its February meeting.
“I want to do what I think I need to do to support our youth,” Piccolo said to start the discussion.
Lisa Carlson said she felt like it had been “a slap in the face” when the board agreed a month ago to allow Almira-Coulee-Hartline student athletes to come to the GCD district and train under its coaches, but wouldn’t let local eighth graders move up.
Eventually most board members agreed that the move up would help build athletic programs. The feeling was that there might be a safety risk in allowing eighth graders to move into varsity play.
The new vote allows eighth graders to practice with the varsity the remainder of this year, and play with the high school junior varsity next year.
Several coaches, and a couple of school secretaries, had turned out for the meeting to give support to the move up idea.
Piccolo made the motion and Ken Stanger seconded it.